VW- Volkswagen Dirty Money- Hard NOx

Dirty Money- Hard NOx

video access: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ds7hg Or if you have Netflix the show is called Dirty Money- Hard Nox episode 1 The materials for this module detail a variety of different environmental crimes. There was a significant focus on historically significant environmental crimes. And on environmental crimes that are corporate in nature or enacted on a large scale. And result in wide ranging victimization and societal level damages. The documentary for this module focused on the crimes related to the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Including both corporate white-collar crimes and environmental white-collar crimes perpetrated by VW. The documentary does a good job of showing how the actions of those at VW were purposeful. And that they knew that what they were doing was both illegal and very damaging.

On average, the cars were polluting 40% more than the legal limit for emissions in certain places in the United States. At the same time, these cars are on advertisement and they sell them as environmentally friendly. And consumers spend more money on these cars because they think they are making a responsible choice. VW continued to cheat and downplay what they were doing, until, ultimately. The EPA told VW it had to come clean or that the EPA would not approve any VW cars at all to come into the United States in 2016. VW was able to cheat regulators and inspectors for so long by using cheat devices. They only discover them because researchers thought they are making a mistake in their lab when they were unable to replicate VW’s emission test results.

Further Instructions

Given all of this, and considering what was present  in the documentary. And what you know about environmental white-collar crimes from the materials for this week, in a 2-3 page double spaced paper. I am asking you to reflect on the VW emissions scandal and environmental white-collar crime more generally. You can use your own discretion in what you wish to include in your reflection. But a good reflection would connect class materials to what you saw in the documentary. Also try to identify larger themes and ideas related to the study of white-collar crime. A reflection is mostly your opinion, but it is your opinion informed by fact and in consideration of what has been presented to you – so, integrating ideas from class materials and using examples from the documentary that you can point to and explain in support of your points will be very helpful.

A good reflection would also include answers to some, and likely many, of the following questions (in no order): Is this more of a white-collar crime or an environmental crime?. Or, can these even be separated/does this matter or make sense?. That is, VW falsely advertised their cars, they inherently defrauded investors and consumers, and they also violated several environmental laws and standards. So, can we separate these things? Does one matter more than the others? Should the executives at VW be held criminally liable? If the executives knew what was going on, and they covered it up, should they do jail time? Or, should they only be held civilly liable? What is the appropriate punishment? How do we deal with different environmental standards and enforcement in different countries when products cross boundaries

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