Volkswagen scandal sparks concerns over corporate reliablity

Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, was recently discovered to have rigged diesel engine emissions tests in America and Europe. They were revealed to have falsified U.S. pollution tests on 500,000 vehicles; however, the company says that up to 11 million cars worldwide may be part of this scandal. The vehicles have been said to pump out as much as 40 times the allowed level of nitrogen oxides.

While drivers are shocked about the lies told to them about their cars, it’s not the first case of a company hiding or lying about information to the public.

In 2009, Sketchers USA Inc. released a brand of shoes called “Shape-ups” which were marketed as shoes that could help users lose weight and tone their bodies just by walking. They were supposedly tested in an independent clinical study which was later proven to be fake. In reality, the shoes were not only ineffective in helping people lose weight but actually caused calf and ankle pain to many of their users.

Another instance of companies decieving their consumers happened in 2012 when a health advocacy group sued General Mills over its “Naturally Flavored” “Strawberry”  Fruit Roll-Ups, which don’t contain any natural flavoring nor actual strawberries.

These occurrences happen more often than the average person would believe. We as consumers blindly assume that all these facts and statistics we read and hear about goods that we purchase are correct without second guessing them. It makes us wonder if we should stop believing all the information companies tell us and begin questioning what they are actually hiding.

It is the consumer’s responsibility to hold companies to a higher standard and require them to start changing their ways. No shopper in a store should ever have to question the validity of a claim made by a business about their product.

Buyers should be able to feel confident in the information they are given when they go to buy a product rather than unsure of whether or not they’re being told is the truth. Moreover, companies should be held to a higher standard of reliability when informing the public about their products.