What is the scandal about?

The government regulates the amount and type of emissions vehicles may produce, with the purpose of protecting the environment. To enforce these regulations the government inspects motor vehicles and determines if they are safe to be driven and sold in the United States.  Volkswagen intentionally and voluntarily installed a "defeat device" to cheat the inspection process and be able to sell diesel fuel vehicles that did not comply with the emissions regulations.  The "defeat device" allowed Volkswagen to produce and make these vehicles at a lower cost, while charging a premium price over their gasoline fuel models.

Volkswagen knew that the "defeat device" made the vehicles non-compliant with the law but still advertised and marketed the vehicles to the consumers.  The vehicles were marketed and advertised as eco-friendly, clean diesel cars when in reality they were emitting illegally high emissions of noxious gasses into the air.  Volkswagen concealed the existence of the "defeat device" and the extent of the pollution produced by each vehicle from the consumers, who believes they were driving an environmentally friendly vehicle.  

Volkswagen has admitted to installing the "defeat device" for the purpose of cheating the emission testing and concealing its existence.The company has taken "full responsibility" for their actions.