In September 2015, former VW CEO Winterkorn resigned from VW stating he was unaware of any personal wrongdoing but accepts responsibility for the crisis (Amelang and Wehrmann). By February 2017, his statement was contradicted by the former head of VW Board of Directors who claims CEO Winterkorn was informed of the faulty tests long before the scandal broke out (Amelang and Wehrmann). This contradiction shows at least three breaches of VW’s own Code of Conduct. First is their code of Responsibility for the Reputation of VWGoA. It states that employees must maintain the highest level of integrity in their actions. If there is even a question of whether their action is ethical enough or not, they should first consult a supervisor or someone in human resources before proceeding. Based on the contradiction, it is implied that CEO Winterkorn was lying when he stated he did not know of the faulty tests. Not only is he lying, he is contradicting his own words that he takes responsibility for the fault emissions crisis since he is in denial of how much information he actually knew. The second is their code of Management Culture and Collaboration. This states that there should be a clear bridge of communication and trust between the employer and manager. The employer should feel comfortable with coming up to the manager to speak on any matter/problem related to business so that both parties can work together to find an effective solution. Managers are also obligated to appropriately supervise their employers for any wrongdoing and act on such action immediately in order to prevent any damage to the company’s integrity and product quality. The lack of communication between the former CEO and his former employee shows that neither were on the same page when communicating emission tests. The third was is their code of Fair Trade Practices. This code just requires employees not to engage in unfair, deceptive, and misleading business principles. Either the former CEO ignored his responsibility of safety to the general public and the environment by knowingly allowing the release of faulty models, or his employee did not press hard enough on how seriously flawed the engines were. Due to these breaches, both parties are at fault for all three breaches of VW’s Code of Conduct.
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