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How far does the responsibility go?
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The Volkswagen scandal: how far does automakers' responsibility for our health go?

The month of September 2015 was marked by a major automobile scandal. It wasn't espionage, nor the death of a Formula 1 driver. Let's find out a little more about this scandal and how it affects us, Brazilians. Check it out below!

Everyone was shocked by the news, after all, how could one of the largest companies in the world manage to circumvent sophisticated and very well-designed tests for years, in addition to the experts in the field responsible for inspection?

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Still don't understand? It turns out that the German automaker Volkswagen managed to carry out a scam so big that it could affect more than 11 million vehicles. Furthermore, it directly affects the health of the planet and people, as the cars involved released more nitrogen oxides than allowed.


Who is responsible for this fraud?

It is not known who is responsible for such fraud, however, one man took responsibility: the former president of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn.

Obviously, Winterkorn did not put together the plan alone, but so far he has accepted the weight of his guilt and resigned from the company. For some people, it is considered a criminal, as the levels of NOx emitted are extremely high.

And what is NOx?

NOx is nitrogen oxide, the result of the combustion of diesel oil. Very polluting, it also combusts easily and is the main gas emitted by adulterated cars.

It is one of the main causes of acid rain and photochemical fog, as well as causing irritation and lung inflammation. Children and people with lung diseases are most affected by NOx.


When was this fraud discovered?

The Volkswagen scandal: how far does automakers' responsibility for our health go?

The Volkswagen scandal: how far does automakers' responsibility for our health go?

The entire Volkswagen plot was only revealed in 2015, but long before the revelation, an NGO and North American experts were already suspicious of the hoax.

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The Non-governmental Organization – International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT) – carried out a test to show that diesel was a much less polluting fuel than others and 'accidentally' discovered Volkswagen's scam. They carried out tests with cars in normal situations, that is, different from the tests carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

With this discrepancy, they decided to alert the authorities – EPA – who reviewed the tests and discovered that there was software capable of identifying when the car was being tested and thus modifying the amount of polluting gases released into the air.

How many cars have this software?

In the United States alone, Volks has almost 500,000 vehicles. However, this number rises to almost 11 million cars around the world.


Does Brazil have cars with this software?

Yes! Brazil has approximately 17 thousand Amarok pick-ups in this situation. The German automaker has already informed that a recall will be carried out at the beginning of 2016 to change the software.

Other cars are involved

It's not just Amarok pick-ups that are involved in this scandal. Many Volkswagen models that are spread around the world are also on the list. In addition to these, some cars from Porsche, Audi and other gasoline-powered models are already on the list of cars with tampered software.

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But what are the consequences for the health of the planet and people?

Finally, the most important part: what will the health of people and the Earth be like? Due to the high amount of NOx that was emitted into the air – more than 40 times more than permitted – the risks to health and the environment are enormous.

According to the EPA, Volkswagen cars emitted between 10 and 50 thousand tons of NOx per year, if they were in accordance with gas emissions. If all 11 million cars that Volkswagen announced actually released these gases, almost 1 million tons of NOx could have been released into the atmosphere per year. And the consequences can be devastating.


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For human health, toxic gases released into the air can cause inflammation and infections in the lungs. In people who already have respiratory problems, the problems can be even greater. Experts say that people with heart problems are also affected.

But, without a doubt, the worst news is that exorbitant pollution causes people exposed to it to die more quickly.


Finally, we know that Volkswagen set aside half of its 2015 profit to change the software. We have also been informed that it will change this program and that it will be included in the rules. But probably the worst damage to Volks is the company's credibility, which was threatened, without forgetting the lawsuits it has already started to suffer.

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However, how will damage to the environment and people's health be resolved? Now we can only wait to find out what measures the company will take regarding this problem.

How far does the responsibility go?

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How far does the responsibility go?



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