The story is out already a few days, here is a good summary:
"The who, what and why of Volkswagen’s diesel scandal"
"In the past, Europe has been quite loose on its regulations, resulting in around one-third of European cars running on diesel, however it’s also the reason why big cities such as Paris and London have smog problems. In fact, almost 29,000 people die each year in the UK due to air pollution.
But in 2009 two things happened that would make diesel appealing in the USA.
Increasingly, drivers wanted to get better fuel economy, while at the same time diesel technology had supposedly become cleaner. Companies such as Volkswagen took advantage of this to break into the huge US market, offering “clean diesel” cars that theoretically offered great fuel economy without giving off too much poisonous NOx.
There was just one problem — their cars couldn’t actually do that."
An amazing story, for such a large company. Repercussions will be huge, the CEO stepped down already, cars will be recalled, large fines will be meted out.
I can only think of one reason for what Volkswagen did: pure greed.
Should we be completely surprised about all this? May be not, I wrote before about the strange case where Volkswagen and Porsche might have gotten away with what they did in the German courts, but if it was ethical, I doubt it.