Look at this chart of the crashing VW phoenix. They are already expecting more than 6 billion Euros in direct damages, aka fines.
VW managed to build intelligent cars. No, they are not as intelligent as the self-driving one from Google. Their intelligence is just sufficient to understand when they are in a test situation.
These “intelligent” cars only activate the NOx filtering when the NOx emission gets measured. Driving them normally turns the filter off and violates environmental laws, but saves a bit fuel or forces fewer visits of the mechanic.
As usual the consumer and the habitant of this planet will pay the bill and big companies go ahead with their trashing of our world.
Right? Wrong! At least partly.
Conversely you could argue that the NOx limit is just too harsh in the U.S. No sarcasm here. There are much more unhealthy developments going on than this one — completely unpunished and even unnoticed.
The crash of the Volkswagen is more a phenomenal annihilation of money than its reason was a real threat to our living space. One could argue that the irreversible wastage of fossil energy by VW cars is ecologically more damaging than their NOx emission. Its impact will just hit us delayed, when there is no more oil. So we are ignoring it happily, for the time being.
Perhaps even the difference of saved gas compensates for the additional NOx emission. But the way they circumvented the will of the government was simply too wily.
Draconic punishment will follow. World wide.
But Volkswagen is still a big car maker and its real value didn’t halve just because some of their car models polluted the air a bit more than they could and should have.
Their stock will rise again, perhaps not as smooth as phoenix from the ashes, and perhaps VOW will nose-dive even more in the near future, but they will come back.