Volkswagen's Emission Scandal: Utilitarian Philosophy Of John Stuart Mill

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This philosophical study will analyze the Volkswagen emissions scandal as a an ethical business study in the context of the utilitarian philosophy of John Stuart Mill. Traditionally, the Volkswagen has been known to be a environmentally safe vehicle due to high levels of performance standards in terms of carbon emissions. However, Volkswagen had illegally programmed the turbocharged direct injection (TDI) controls in the car to only work when the car was being tested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2015, Volkswagen was charged with emitting high levels of carbon emissions in its diesel automobiles, which illustrates a cost-cutting method that led to higher air pollution rates. The Utilitarian ethical argument identifies the highly individualistic role that Volkswagen executives brought forth by deceiving the customer that they were buying an environmental friendly product. This deviation from the “happiness principle” defines why the individual selfishness of Volkswagen brought…show more content…
The VW corporation was found to be guilty of falsifying programming for the emissions system, but the executives that were responsible for this corporate action are protected by corporate law for damages to the environment and to the health of human beings. In highly unregulated system of corporate law, it is very difficult to punish or remove the executives that were responsible for this unethical act. Many corporate legal cases end up being settled out of court with financial compensation for damages. However, the ramifications of air pollution related to VW's emissions violations prove to be a much harder case to prove in the courts. This is part of the brazen disregard for the greater good that the VW executives possessed when deliberately programming the TDI controllers during the initial testing
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