Any long-tenured Volkswagen executive who happens to be a fan of famed British rockers Led Zeppelin probably derives a bit of extra special meaning from the group’s song Good Times Bad Times.
In fact, that tune might readily come to mind occasionally, given the current reality facing the German automaker.
That reality is this: The company, which most assuredly has ridden the crest of good times throughout much of its illustrious history, is now in a bit of a slump.
In fact, the bad times now confronting Volkswagen are, well, truly bad.
Intentionally engaging in fraudulent actions over a long period to dupe the public and profit from consumers’ ignorance will tend to bite a company back, once discovered.
And what was discovered pursuant to Volkswagen’s public disclosure last September was truly shocking and will likely take years to recover from.
If, in fact, the company can come back at all from the public-relations nightmare it is currently experiencing.
Here’s what Volkswagen owned up to last year, as related by a recent national media piece chronicling its dilemma: The company admitted “that it rigged the exhaust system in 11 million diesel cars worldwide to feign compliance with global emission standards.”
That was decidedly not a good move, and it has now come back to haunt the carmaker in an unprecedented way, with a high number of fraud-related lawsuits having been consolidated in a California federal court.
Although the litigation is still ongoing, a recent proposal regarding payouts and vehicle fixes will reportedly soon be considered and ruled upon by the presiding judge.
One thing is certain: Volkswagen will pay plenty for its actions. The company has set aside more than $18 billion to compensate affected consumers and regulators — including the California Air Resources Board — for harms resulting from its fraud.