Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Do the crime, do the time

The former general manager of engineering and environmental office at VW American was sentenced to 7 years in jail and a $400,000 fine for his part in the diesel emissions scandal. The judge also said that VW upper management was aware of this and believes that they should be tried too.


Excellent. Any executive from ANY company that does this should be held responsible.

So let’s see . . .

He’s probably do 2 years, 3 tops, at a minimum security facility

And he might hire a top flight lawyer to get that fine reduced, as well

But at least he was sentenced to time, regardless of what actually happens next

I would enjoy finding out how the subterfuge played out. It seems likely that the situation played out in some desperate, incremental effort by various individuals in several departments. Possibly everyone was fudging on what they felt would be a short term cover up. But as efforts at a solution failed and the cover up took the heat off the problem just got swept under the rug UNTIL…

My opinion of corporate politics and corporate fiefdoms is quite poor but it has always seemed that in situations that I have been closely aware of most of the individuals involved were just desperate cogs on minor wheels meshed into an unstopable corporate flywheel. Even here in Mayberry II we have some corporate wannabe giants that fudge a little here and there. But who’s counting?

Until it hits the CEO/Board of Directors level, the incentive for corporate culture change is limited.

1 Like

IIRC, wasn’t this guy “thrown under the bus” by top-level VW? Hard to say “justice was done,” then, even though this guy is guilty if SOME of it.

Sacrifice a rook to save a king…


I retired in 1997 from a local division of a large international corporation that for years every year had the most penalties and fines by the government for various, ahem, bad behavior. It is not fun to work for people like that.

At times we tried to stop it by complaining and it was always explained away that we didn’t really understand or it was okay.

In the end, our division got busted really bad. They paid a million dollar fine on that one.

We used to joke we needed to wear bags on our head like Chicago Cub fans did years ago when things were really bad for the team.

The solution supplied to the gov’t by the company was a very strict control system. On the production workers, of course. Not the management team which actually did it.

I am not sure if jail time is the right answer . I would have preferred a healthy fine , probation , forfeiture of bonuses , naming names for no jail time and not be allowed to work in the auto industry ever.

Every trucking company I ever worked for had a safety department, they lectured the drivers, sent the drivers warning letters for violating the law or company policies, Actually the letters usually involved logbook violations , so the problem was not seen as working too many hours or driving too far , too fast, or with too heave a load, but turning in logbook pages that showed you did any of that.
The safety department had no control over the operation department who told drivers where to go with what and who actually called them to work and pressured them to break the law as a matter of policy. The safety dept. was just there to assure the DOT that “We would never tell a driver to do that”.


Interesting perspective…

Why on earth would you want to put someone like this in a maximum security facility?

Prisons serve two purposes, one is to punish the offenders, the other is to keep dangerous people out of society. People who if freed would start another string of robbery, rape, burglary, or murder.
Will you feel safer if this man is locked up? Yea, me neither.
Did you feel the need to double lock the doors and windows when they released Martha Stewart? Yea, me neither.

Ya’ know, this reminds me a lot of the Formula 1 season. Ferrari was under a lot of pressure from upper management to win races - and that pressure resulted in many flubs. Steve Matchet said repeatedly that management needed to get out of the way.

I think this applies here. The question is did the idea to cheat come from the top down or the bottom up? Either way, management “approved” - and that’s the culture that needs to be changed.

Please stop answering questions that I did’t specifically ask