For obvious reasons, it wouldn't quite be fitting for a PR professional to stroll down the halls singing Joan Jett's Reputation. Reputations are everything not only to PR employees, but to companies as well. The Volkswagen emissions scandal is an example of a company needing a savior in the PR field. This site provides an explanation of what's going on with it now as well as how executives are handling things.
|Photo from: http://ecomento.com/2015/09/22/winterkorn-apologizes-for-volkswagen-cheating-scandal/|
In the article PR Ethics and Reputation: PR Professionals are not "Yes Men" When Pressured to be Unethical, New Baylor Study Finds, PR employees recount standing up against their bosses at unethical decisions, some more understanding than others. I haven't been able to find anything on if any PR professionals in the Volkswagen company knew anything about the emission scheme, but they definitely weren't the ones to blow the whistle. As seen from this site, it was the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT) that contacted the EPA after running some separate tests on the car that didn't seem to add up.
From some accounts such as the first link, it doesn't appear that Volkswagen executives are playing hot-potato with the blame, unlike Rupert Murdoch in the article of Follow the Leader: Ethics and Responsibility. The chief executive of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, has resigned, though he does deny any wrong-doing. But this article claims that Ferdinand Piech should own up to the scandal instead, having taken a grand part in the success of Volkswagen in the past years.
Either way, Volkswagen has some cleaning up to do.