Volkswagen: Where Were the Lawyers? Essay Sample

Published: 2023-08-07
Volkswagen: Where Were the Lawyers? Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Human resources Judicial system Automotive industry Volkswagen
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1235 words
11 min read

The article "Volkswagen, where were the lawyers?" will be critically discussed from the perspective of an employee, particularly in the legal department. Nonetheless, various ideas regarding how prevention of the incident would have been carried out will be delved on. The chief executive officer's perspective will be considered when addressing some of the possible responses triggered by the issues going public and the impacts of the responses, particularly in preventing a similar incident from occurring in the future.

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As An Employee Or A Manager In Either The Legal Office Or The Engineering Department, How Would You Have Prevented This Incident?

As an employee in Volkswagen’s legal department, I am convinced that numerous measures could have been taken to prevent the incident from happening by performing three distinct actions (Boston, 2019). Moreover, the actions could have dramatically protected Volkswagen's image and brand, which was greatly tainted. The scandal, which was grossly unethical, led to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publicly declaring the incident on September 18, 2015. (Coleman, 2015).

First, the responsibility of being thoroughly informed on every project being undertaken by the Volkswagen company rests with its legal office. As such, the legal office's engagement before the implementation of the project was highly necessary. The legal office would have advised the company accordingly, particularly on the risks that were to meet their consumers, hence protecting the company's brand while also maintaining integrity.

Furthermore, the legal office would have played a crucial role in raising the topic of ethical practice in business. As a result, the Volkswagen company would have found it unethical to proceed with the project. Based on the article “Volkswagen: where were the lawyers?" the critical question is, "were the lawyers engaged enough in the business to know what was going on? If they were, it seems certain that they could have prevented the manipulation from occurring (Lippe, 2015). The author doubts if the engagement of the lawyers on the project was optimum as it was expected. Nonetheless, it was the lawyers’ responsibility to gather the necessary information concerning the project rather than speculating that the company will not commit any unethical actions during the project. This would have been done by always being in touch with the engineering team.

‘Moreover, transparency between the legal office and the Volkswagen company would have prevented the incident from happening. There should be clear rules and regulations that champion for the legal office to be incorporated in any project undertaken by the Volkswagen company from the formulation stage up to the implementation stage (Boston, 2019). According to the article, Pyramid Of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward The Moral Management Of Organizational Stakeholders, "society has not only sanctioned business to operate according to the profit motive; at the same time business is expected to comply with the laws and regulations promulgated by federal, state, and local government as the ground Ailes under which business must operate” (Carroll, 1991)

Furthermore, the Volkswagen scandal would not have happened if the legal team had correctly worked with the engineering team in charge of the project. This would have created a conducive environment for the lawyers to warn the engineers about the legal consequences of carrying on with the deceptive project to the company (Boston, 2019). Nevertheless, the lawyers would have capitalized on the opportunity to inform the company on the number of losses they will make and the large number of consumers that would have been lost by the company due to the deceptive project. Nevertheless, the Volkswagen company lacked an open communication channel with the legal department (Boston, 2019). As such, the legal team couldn't prevent the incident from occurring since there was no free flow of information between the company and the legal office.

As The CEO Of The Diesel Division Of Volkswagen, How Would You Have Responded When The Situation Became Public? How Would This Response Prevent Future Incidents?

As the Chief executive officer of Volkswagen's diesel division, I would have done a thorough consultation with the legal department before openly issuing my response when the scandal reached the public domain. Nonetheless, it is the sole responsibility of the chief executive officer to make elaborate inquiries regarding the occurrence of the incident, and critically determine if the situation was preventable or not ( Ebersole, 2013). Also, determine if the communication gap between the legal team and the company existed during the project, evaluate if there existed any probability of doing the project differently, and construct measures that prevent such events from occurring in the future.

After collecting and scrutinizing the evidence linked to the scandal, I would have considered maintaining transparency while addressing the public. This would have significantly helped the company retain the customers' trust, hence improving its image (Lippe, 2015). This is in line with the article “The Strategic Importance Of Trust In Business," which notes, " I firmly believe that trust is right at the foundation of the survival and success of any business. Without trust, there can be no substantial business" ( Ebersole, 2013). Consequently, all the parties involved will be able to make thoughtful decisions in the future based on the experience.

Nonetheless, as the chief executive officer, I would inform the public of my involvement in the project and apologize on behalf of the company. I would then proceed by comprehensively stating to the public the numerous measures and solutions that the company has put in place to ensure that such unethical practices do not occur in the future (Lippe, 2015). Nevertheless, I would have appointed specific employees to effectively team up with the legal department to ensure that the company does not engage itself in any unethical project.

I would have also enforced the effectiveness of the company's chain of command, and ensure that all relevant opinions of both the legal team and the employees are considered before the company undertakes any project in the future. This is in line with the article “The Pyramid Of Corporate Social Responsibility: Towards The Moral Management Of Organizational Stakeholders," which states that "It is important to prevent ethical norms from being compromised to achieve corporate goals” (Carroll, 1991). The response will help in suppressing any future incident of dishonesty in the company that might hinder the company from realizing its goals.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, New International Version). Hence, I do believe that everything occurred with purpose. As such, the individuals involved in the scandal will correct their flaws based on the experience, thus improving their ability to make sound decisions in the future. Furthermore, this stage provides the company with the best time of ensuring that they restore the trust that the public once had in them by offering solutions and putting up measures to prevent the incident from occurring in future since "Whatever you as for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24, New International Version)


Carroll, A. B. (1991). The pyramid of corporate social responsibility: Toward the moral management of organizational stakeholders. Business Horizons, 34(4), 39-48.Retrieved from, C. (2015, September 24). VW could face a long legal nightmare. Retrieved from

Boston, W. (2019, September 25). Volkswagen CEO faces charges from scandal. Wall Street Journal, A.1. Retrieved from, G . (2013). The strategic importance of trust in business. Retrieved

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Lippe, P. (2015). Volkswagen, where were the lawyers.

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