tv Ali Velshi on Target Al Jazeera September 29, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT
else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. i'm ali velshi, on target - back fire, dirty secrets exposed in the volkswagen pollution scandal. world powerless, how the united nations failed to accomplish its main mission the fact of volkswagen reprehensible behaviour are familiar but cannot be repeated enough. the german automaker installed software on 11 million cars designed to cheat on pollution emissions test. half a million of those v.w.s
and saudis were in the united states. the environmental protection agency, the e.p.a. says the software allowed the cars to pass lab tests, but spew up to 40 times the legal limit on the road. that let the world's biggest auto maker sell dirty cars as clean cars without sacrificing power or performance, reprehensible. tonight i want to move beyond outrage and see what can be down to stop automakers from deceiving consumers or taking short cuts. i'm talking about general motors and the ignition recall. all because of a part that would have cost about $1 to replace. it's clear the obsession with profits, combined with the worst aspects of human psychocology leads executives it employees to make decisions that are dumb,
illegal or both. we will not change human before, and by the way, it's the same human psychology, and obsession with saving a buck, explaining why consumers by cars, after the company recalled 2.6 million. this leads to the unavoidable conclusion that regulators, lawmakers must do a better job of policing automakers. no matter what side of the political spectrum you call home, no one wants organizations ripping off consumers. the national high traffic administration, n.h.t.s.a., environmental protection agency, e.p.a. must be held to account by congress when their oversight is incompetent. congress must be held to account by voters for not giving regulators funds and resources need the to do the job properly. today we learnt that the u.s. lawmakers arrived volkswagen for
all documents related to deceptive software, tests, anomalies and noncompliance with environmental standards. it's a good start. and it's clear writing is check is not enough of a penalty from deterring car-makers going the wrong way. the justice department reportedly began an investigation of vw. before criminals face criminal prosecution don't expect them to change. we know that german prosecutors opened an investigation against martin winterkorn. his push to be number one has backfired. the resignation and scandal is a below of a company coming to symbolize the german industrial machine. a company building excellence in the years leading up to world war ii. as this parody making the rounds on youtube implies, hitler and
volkswagen share a story history. there's a myth that they designed what is true is the inexpensive car when it opened fit into hitler's dream of motorizing jeremy. the lynch pin was an affordable car for the masses. volkswagen. the brand itself is the people's wagon. the people's car. >> a volkswagen is a nice car to have around the house. volkswagen didn't gain traction in the united states until the 1950s, among grads and college professors, people demand, quality over style. as it moved from towns to cities. sales took off from 93,000 to 159,000. >> in the industry they are known as a forward-thinking engineering company.
>> in the 1960less, they acquired audi, beginning a buying industry that would include other high-end brands. they are probably the most diverse automaker in terms of the product portfolio. >> each was designed to attract a different kind of customer. >> they are the biggest automaker in the world. >> not in the u.s. that's why it's believed seeds of scandal may have been planted in 2007. >> volkswagen has never cracked the code of the u.s. market. they wanted to change that under the c.e.o. martin winterkorn, he wanted to turn volkswagen into a company that sold 800,000 vehicles in the united states annually. at that point they were selling over 200,000. it was a big, bike ambition move for them. >> an ingredient to that is the diesel machine.
>> the company was facing challenges. >> fuel economy regulations were tougher, emissions tougher. they saw diesel as a pathway to solve both those problems. >> the pressure was two fold - one was to make money by using the programme to cheat. it allowed them not to put on the save guards everyone puts on a car. they could have saved hundreds, if not thousands per car. >> the other thing to remember is this allowed them to get better mileage than other diesel vehicles and cost less, so they could undercut the competition. >> whatever the motive. in september, a bombshell brought volkswagen to a halt. they confirmed a notice of violation from the u.s. environmental protection agency, admitting vw intentionally treated commissions tests for its cars. it did so by installing special software in up to 11 million
vehicles worldwide. c.e.o. martin winterkorn resigned a few days later. there are fears the fall out could hit the economy. as far as long term prospects, some believe the scandal could go deep. including one by general motors in which lives were lost. >> it's the brazen nature. the fact they deliberately set out to install software. >> people that bought the diesels thought they were doing a good thing. it's that betrayal. every one of those customers will know forever. >> who is at fault for letting volkswagen fool customers. we'll talk about that after this. per cent per cent
scandal and how it backfired on the company and consumers who decided to buy a volkswagen diesel. you may be shocked on the pollution test, but you shouldn't be surprised. mick is a trappings reporter, one of the most promising parks is that the auto maker has been cheating on tests for years. how is this possible that the environmental protection agency did not catch this. >> we don't have the fund and resources to test every vehicle. they test 15% of new vehicles. they ask automakers to self-certify the rest. if the e.p.a. drags a volkswagen into a laboratory and tests them, the defeat device would have detected the test mode and operate differently than it does
on the streets. if the e.p.a. and we can get to this, why they dent test everything, the testing would have been overcome by the technology that volkswagen put in. exactly right. >> what the e.p.a. need to do is test every vehicle on the road as the i.c.c. t, and west virginia university did in this case. >> those two organizations didn't test every car on the road. every time we do a story, the e.p.a. is not funds, doesn't have the teeth or the staff to do it. >> they tested three diesel vehicles after finding in europe that they were producing 40 times emissions of regulations. >> in this environment it seems we are begging car companies to
cheat on these things. >> at the same time i could see the e.p.a. trust and verify hope that they are doing the right thing. i'm a volkswagen fan for a long time. i'm shocked to the core that volkswagen would do this. i am sure the e.p.a. felt safe in their assumption that no automaker would cheat hat this level. 40 times. a few percentage over perhaps, that's probably the case. >> i think the scale may be off a little, but this is something of a magnitude. you heard the story, and the last expert made a comment that this is what customers remember forever. you wrote the fall out for vw will be astronomical. honestly, time and time again companies find themselves neck deep in scandal. ford and firestone, toyota with the break, general motors with
the key, and now this. it comes out not only relatively un scathed. but guilt m showed more cars than they had solved history. do you think consumers care? >> yes, i think they do. >> the governments around the world will care. g.m. was in the u.s., and we had bailed them out. we are tied into this. we can't let them fail. we'd have a black eye on the government if we didn't let that go by. as to the consumer i can't say a lot of people by cars. a lot of them based upon the colour. pt diesel owners were invested in the materials. >> in the end, what is the fixed. if the volkswagen fixes the cars which meet the standards which is lower, what does that leave
the consumer with that brought the cars. >> well, that's the worst case scenario that volkswagen updates the software giving them less power and fuel economy. what really is going to happen, and volkswagen said they'd refit the vehicles with the appropriate system, that the largest 3.0 have already. that could cost the company between rough estimates, 2100. the question is how they'll do that. who will install it. >> dealerships have time, space and man power. it's a fine idea and americans are notorious. maybe the owners will be difference. >> nick james, transportation reporter at national throw the book at them, toss them in jam. that's the reaction when we hear
about people who put them in danger. as we learn from the subprime, prosecutors are slow to charge executives with crime. the question is who should be charged with a crime. joining me to answer that is the director of the heritage legal center, part of the heritage foundation. what is your thinking on this. >> this manipulation was serious. it didn't happen magically, someone within the company remains to be seen however high up, ordered and did this. they should be integhted to the full extent of the law. and if they did this with the rech visit guilty poond mind and knowing they were trying to evade evictions. >> not the company. you think it should be individuals, a corporate entity can't be held responsible. that's where i read you had
written. it's not that they can't be held responsible. this is a company losing hundreds of thousands at risk. they can be sued civil by by the federal governme federal government they can be prosecuted. it's owned by shareholders. the shareholders had nothing to do with the fraud. the responsible individuals should be held fully accountable as seems appropriate. the criminal prosecution and the company should be held accountable, whether criminally for civilly. they should be held account ag. >> give me the differences, why one verses the other. we feel when people are killed, we want the government involved,
handcuffs and people. you are saying there are adequate treatment for companies that don't have to be about that. >> people who are involved, individuals who did this should go to gaol. all i'm saying is you give a company a criminal prosecution. it bars them from certain business. nobody goes to gaol as a result of that. incident shareholders, nothing to do with the administration are held. certainly a civil fine, a penalty, volkswagen will pay the price. the government should investigate this. however high up, if they knew about it. if they knew about it, they should be prosecuted. >> we never get to that. we look at a.i.g., the big bangs. the general motors right now. we never get to whether or not
people at the top knew. and we look at a place like volkswagen, and it is the shareholders, regular people that pay the price. that stock is down 40%. they didn't do anything wrong. they didn't chase the test. >> you make a couple of points about that. >> one is we used to have a white colour crime prosecutor. some frauds dash very, very difficult to prove the cases and difficult to tag to one individual. it ends up being a paper case. this is somewhat easier. someone actively went in and manipulated the software so when you ran a test. it gave one result and the moment that test was over, it kicked up to 40 times the allowable level of nitrogen oxide. this is a somewhat easier case to prove. what you have to prove is who did that. why did they do it. who approved it. how high up does it go, up the
the irony of powerful world leaders like president obama, president vladimir putin, and chinese president xi jinping speaking the a the 70th united nations general assembly this week is inescapable and depressing. ironic because these men and others gathered at a 70-year-old institution that remains powerless to stop wars, conflict and other human tragedies raging around the globe. that powerlessness is why many critics say the u.n. failed in its mission. tonight it want to discuss some of the reasons for the perceived failure and what should be done to address dangerous impetuous. and damage that the u.n. would fail to prevent. it left a quarter of a million dead.
>> veto u.n. resolutions since jeften. more on that in a minute. then there's the nightmare of iraq which the united states invaded. since then more than half a million died. that's what kofi annan called illegal. in that they changed generations from the scourge of war. that is what i mean by powerless. at that to the casualties. you reach a death toll topping 800,000 and 50 million, from the four conflicts alone, that doesn't include the atrocities in. more than a million died in rue wanda. a key reason analysts site for the powerless is the security
council itself. >> there are five permanent members with the power to veto a resolution. they are the united states and russia. >> as i told you about russia, that is a powerful force forinaction. nothing in the face of brutality, something that the world represents. instead of a symbol of life, growth and promise. the executive director of the united nations office for project services or u.n. opf joins yeah - the operational arm of the body that manages coordinates and sports humanitarian projects. in some of the conflict zones. thank you for joining us. the indictment of the u.n. is not news to people that work at
the u.n. tell me what i said is wrong. >> i think the member states agreed on a lot of good things to do. it's easy to understand frustrations and that the u.n. is not perfect. u.n. - it is there to hech us in doing something that matters, especially to people who are nothing, people in need. that's why i go to work every day the u.n. has bodies that set the goals. there are many agencies of the u.n. that people say work well, or work. that's not what the u.n. was set up to do. it was set up to stop wars and stop killing. >> well, our u.n. office of project services are set up.
we work with agencies, governments, we can work with private sector to get things done, and we are paid for the services we offer. we see in so many fragile countries that what we do matters. we build schools, clinics, and people access education, health services. these are the things that matter. >> you have projects that have to live up to - that have to be done in conflict zones. your offices response is involved with the responsibility, what the u.n. calls r 2 p. the idea that things happen. countries are not supposed to cause harm. in the countries, whether it's rwanda, bosnia or syria or iraq, it's conflicts that rage within countries as opposed to between countries. what's the discussion at the
u.n., not member companies, but countries that say why can we control that. >> when policies are decided, we are there to act. i come back to un o.p.s as being the implementer, and in post conflict zones, we are at our best. you find our biggest programs in afghanistan, you find them in haiti, in south sudan, you find them in somalia. when we are there helping people to access education, doing simple things as building roads, tar them, so that e i.d.s cannot be put there to explode - it's helping people to normal daily lives. >> as you watch syria, you say to yourself one day you'll be able to do the good work you do. don't you wish you don't have to watch what is going on now until then. can't the u.n. have a bigger role. >> i respect there's more than
190 member kund ris that have to agree on what to do. while politicians does how to move the set up. that is meaningville. >> and i respect there's a lot of people there. there's frustration within the united nations about the way the security council sometimes work. 1078 people say there shouldn't be a security council or they shouldn't have the veto that they have. some suggested that the u.s. and russia should give up veto powers, stuff can't get done. what is the talk in the hallways of the u.n. about that. if the security council was not gumming things up, would the u.n. be a better organization. >> these discussions have been going on for years. still, what is the alternative?
i come back to that that all the time. with the u.n., we see that there are many agencies that can help people access basic services and have a better life. if we can help, help build hopes, jobs, but in place something that allows people to have education, health and basic services, that is really what makes me think. >> you are okay with the fact that we are not solving the wars dying and we are hoping them on the other side of it. >> we are working on the peacekeeping operations, we are trying to help out where there are opportunities. i am very much aware of also the limitations in our role so for us it's to find ways of working
in difficult societies. >> thank you for being with us. that is the show for today, i'm ali velshi, thank you for joining us. the news conditions on al jazeera america. >> funding fight, the battle over planned parenthood stakes center stage. >> planned parenthood comply and go beyond the requirements of the law. >> with the organizations leader testified before congress. fighting i.s.i.l., like terrorists, i.s.i.l. will lose. >> president obama gathers world leaders to develop a plan to defeat the group