Volkswagen has to repair more than the millions of cars impacted by the recent emissions scandal. The car company now has to repair its reputation, which is, arguably, much harder to do. Car companies and their executives have come under fire before (in fact, it’s a rather common occurrence), but what VW has done is unique. VW didn’t just fix emissions ratings – it appears that this company blatantly lied to consumers (and you thought only politicians did that!)
If there’s anything that history can teach us it’s that consumers don’t like to be lied to. Many companies that have been caught in such lies have been forced to rebrand, restructure, and spend years trying to rebuild a tarnished reputation. But it’s not entirely impossible. VW can become the car manufacturer that it once was - it’s just going to take some skill and time.
Learning from GM
In the wake of the current VW scandal, many consumers have completely forgotten about the recent GM scandal (much to the happiness of GM). A slew of GM cars were found to have defective ignitions switches, which may be linked to hundreds of deaths.
The U.S. Justice Department discovered that GM employees knew about the ignition switches for many years and that the car company lied to the public outright. GM is expected to make a settlement this month, but the car company has been working hard on fixing its own ruined reputation.
Aside from the fact that the VW scandal shrouded what happened with GM, General Motors also did some major PR work in order to smooth over its reputation with consumers. New commercials and apology letters went out, corporate investigations and restructuring happened, and the company spent many dollars and months apologizing to the public.
GM, it seems, got off rather easily by fading into the background thanks to VW (even though the VW emissions scandal did not cause deaths!), and has since managed to quietly repair its reputation.
Can VW do the same thing? While it’s unlikely that another scandal will come along and cover-up what VW has done, the company can take some steps to repair its reputation.
Steps VW Should Take
So far, VW has responded to the emissions scandal by doing the following:
- Stating that the company will repair cars that were impacted by the scandal
- Offering to compensate dealers
- Corporate restructuring - VW’s Chief Executive Officer, Martin Winterkorn, has since resigned.
- Consumers and dealers should be wholly compensated - this hasn’t happened yet.
Yet, all of this is not enough. Consumers that purchased VW diesel bought those cars under the promise that they were emissions friendly (and would resell for a decent price). Further, the cars that some people purchased were far more expensive than other options.
If you add to all of this the hit that dealerships are likely to take as a result of VW’s carelessness, the company will have to spend the next five years (or more) repairing its reputation. If you have a vehicle that is part of the VW scandal, you can join a collective lawsuit in order to receive maximum compensation - call the Dellutri Law Group today or schedule your free case evaluation online.