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​Could Elon Musk Have Orchestrated the VW Disaster?

This is going to seem more than a little far fetched. But, since no one knows what happened, and we’ll probably never know what really happened, I'm going to throw out a theory:

Elon Musk used his Jedi-level business skills to take down Volkswagen (XETRA: VOW) from the inside.

The motive: If VW could make mass amounts of low cost cars that got great gas mileage and had good power, that would pose a threat to Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA.) The Volkswagen Group also owns Audi and Porsche, who are actively working on electric cars. The more elite manufacturers there are making electric cars, the less Elon Musk sleeps at night. Elon Musk doesn't like not sleeping at night.

The personality: Elon Musk is notoriously competitive and incredibly smart. If he could find a way to give himself an edge, he would. You know how Michael Jordan used to take bets from his teammates on whose bags would come out of the baggage claim first, and then bribe the baggage handlers to make sure he won? That’s the kind of personality we are talking about here.

The plan: Find a weak link inside VW. What about the engineers? It’s been well documented that “any big firm like VW is under pressure from all directions.” No one would have been harder hit by all this than the engineers. They were being asked to reduce emissions while maintaining power from a diesel engine, which everyone knows is incredibly hard.

What if, one late night, Elon Musk calls up a high level Volkswagen engineer. What if he proposed, using all the Elon Musk authority he could muster, that the team simply cheat on the emissions rather than engineer around them? The guy would have to at least consider it, right?

I don’t know anyone who has ever worked at a car company, but I imagine that if Elon Musk comes calling, you listen. Just like inception, Elon could have simply planted a seed and then stayed out of the way, knowing that disaster that was sure to come.

The result: The people at VW might have been emboldened. “Hey, maybe Tesla cuts corners, too! And look at them!” Then, they went ahead and tweaked their computer systems rather than actually reducing their emissions.

Having been a pro athlete, I know that being under pressure can make you do crazy things. Every now and then I would get so pent up and nervous that I would experience something called depersonalization, a stress induced state where you literally forget who you are. I didn’t know who I was. And that was just from basketball.

What if you were tasked with the impossible task of creating the perfect car, and the CEO of the company was breathing down your neck? You’d probably crack, too.

After VW was outed for their transgressions, who was one of the first public figures to pontificate about how VW did something truly awful? Mr. Musk. Hmmmm. Whether or not he pulled off the truly absurd thing I’m suggesting, you can be he’s sleeping well tonight.