New Book Identifies Dieselgate Whistleblower

A new book about the dieselgate scandal is set to hit stores in May and it reportedly contains the identity of the whistleblower who alerted authorities to Volkswagen’s emissions manipulations.

Faster, Higher, Farther: the Volkswagen Scandal, written by New York Times journalist Jack Ewing, identifies Stuart Johnson as the whistleblower who brought VW’s defeat device to the attention of regulators. Johnson was the head of VW’s Engineering and Environmental Office in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the post formerly held by Oliver Schmidt, who is currently facing 11 felony charges.

Speaking to Automotive News, the book’s author said that he had the impression that Johnson had long felt uneasy about the emissions manipulation. In his book, meanwhile, Ewing writes that Johnson was violating orders from his superiors by telling the California Air Resources Board about the device in August 2015.

That there was an internal whistleblower has long been known, but in the indictment and in other official documents, the whistleblower was only identified as Cooperating Witness 1.

Despite Johnson’s involvement in attempting to certify defeat-device-equipped diesels in America, he currently faces no charges.

The nature of whistleblowing is complicated, and it’s easy to see how fans of the brand, and to a greater extent Johnson’s coworkers, might feel betrayed by his actions. I for one, though, think that his actions were brave and maybe even heroic. Emissions cheating is not a victimless crime and when corporations aren’t accountable for their pollution, rivers burn. Johnson’s actions saved lives from being needlessly shortened. That’s worth celebrating.

[source: Automotive News]