The recent Volkswagen scandal has managed to hit waves both on the American continent and across the Atlantic, bringing European consumers to doubt the same question Californian consumers are trying to solve: When does a false public statement by a company infringe the rights of consumers, or are those companies been protected by the freedom of speech principle?
This topic has been widely developed in California, where two main cases, Kasky v. Nike, and Doe. v. Walmart, had managed to evolve two separate precedents regarding false public statements by companies with relation to working conditions in South Asia.
When relating the two cases to the recent Volkswagen case, the main relation that can be drawn is that all three companies had deliberately lied to their consumers. In the Volkswagen case, the issue is even more troubling, due to the fact that the emission standards in California are higher. This means that the consumers who purchased Volkswagen cars are risking a heavy fine, even though they were lied to by the Volkswagen group regarding the emissions standards of the cars.
The main question that can be deduced from these three cases, is how can the consumer, be assured that the product that he is purchasing falls under the standards that is expected and promised by the companies?