It’s the hot topic of not only the automotive industry, but of much of the business world, too. The Volkswagen Group emissions scandal rocked many as it was found the company had installed a defeat device to many of its diesel vehicles, cheating EPA ratings.
Former General Motors executive, Bob Lutz, recently had an interview discussing his thoughts on Apple’s electric vehicle project, and the unfolding Volkswagen scandal. Fox Business penned an op-ed on the auto exec’s words, but we’re simply here to share Lutz’s words, not elaborate on them as Fox has.
When asked about Volkswagen’s predicament, the former GM and Chrsyler exec had this to say:
Well, I hope and I assume that the government is going to come down on them very hard because, unlike Toyota’s unintended acceleration and unlike the GM ignition switch scandal, if you want to call it that, those were acts of, you could say, negligence or lack of proper oversight but this was willful cheating. I mean this is like deflating footballs or taking drugs in the Tour de France. This is willful. And to me that makes it a lot worse.
Things can get testy when comparing the VW emissions scandal to the GM ignition-switch conundrum, where there sits a fine line between negligence and lack of oversight, like Lutz mentions.
General Motors recently came to a deferred prosecution agreement, dropping the criminal investigation by the U.S. government, by paying a $900 million fine. Should the U.S. government seek maximum penalties per vehicle with Volkswagen, the dollar amount could potentially reach $18 billion.