Volkswagen had to face a lot of trouble due to the wrongful reporting of emission from its cars, what would later be termed as the Dieselgate scandal. This malicious move on the part of the company has cost it a lot of money and the financial penalties that the company had to face seem to be not ending as the Volkswagen Group owned Porsche has been slapped with a hefty fine of $599 million in Germany recently.
However, the reason we talk about this Dieselgate scandal again today is because Hemanth Kappanna, one of the people responsible for blowing the whistle on the scam has been laid off by General Motors two months ago. Hemanth’s research played a crucial role in helping expose the malpractices that the German automotive conglomerate was employing to stop the reporting on real emissions of their products in the market. The decade long malpractice by the German brand came to an end with the help of the research of a small team of engineering students in West Virginia, and Hemanth was a part of that. This research led to the German carmaker paying $33 billion all over the world in fines and $23 billion in the US alone.
Hemanth Kappanna had been a resident of the United States since 17 years after completing his studies there. He was employed by General Motors for more than half a year. He was a part of the engineering student team in West Virginia that carried out the real world tests on the Volkswagen diesel cars in 2013. More recently, Hemanth’s job at General Motors was to communicate with the Environmental Protection Agency, the environment arm of US government.
General Motors recently let go of a team of 50 people and Hemanth was one among them, apart from this team of 50 GM has laid of nearly 4,000 employees altogether. Since Hemanth is not a US citizen, he is now in Bangalore, India. The severance package that the company offered him included pay of two months and a ticket back to India. After bring laid off in February, Hemanth could not find a job within the stipulated time of 60 days and is now in India.
Hemanth Kappanna still remains proud of the work he did at West Virginia University. The same research led to a guilt corporation paying billions in fines and two executives of the company prison terms in the USA for playing a role in covering up the emission fraud.