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A look back at the biggest corporate scandals of 2015

By Mary-Lynn Cesar for Kapitall

When it comes to the most noteworthy corporate scandals of 2015, no firm saw its reputation plummet more than Volkswagen (OTCMKTS: VLFAY) this year.

In September, the Environmental Protection Agency accused the carmaker of using software to help its diesel-powered cars skirt emission standards . A group of scientists at West Virginia University felled the German auto giant after discovering that the company had placed a device in its diesel engines to cheat emissions tests. The EPA called foul, the CEO and other top executives left and now Volkswagen faces over $18 billion in fines. Since the scandal broke on September 18, Volkswagen's stock has declined by nearly 25 percent.

Fast-casual restaurant Chipotle ( CMG ) is also ending its year on a sour note, albeit a food-pathogen-induced one. The chain, which made headlines this spring after removing genetically modified ingredients from its menu, is in the news again for giving customers something special: E. coli and norovirus. After dealing with a norovirus outbreak in the Pacific Northwest this fall, Chipotle now has another norovirus mess on its hands-this time in Boston . The stock is down roughly 26 percent since mid-October.

The environment and customers aren't the only ones being unceremoniously screwed over by companies. An August New York Times exposé on Amazon ( AMZN ) dug deep into the e-commerce firm's workplace practices and discovered a toxic, exploitative and cutthroat corporate culture. Amazon fired back, with SVP of Global Affairs Jay Carney (President Obama's former press secretary) and the Times Executive Editor Dean Basquet hashing it out via posts on Medium . After a brief dip a week following the article's release-which was just a terrible time for tech stocks -Amazon's stock is up 21 percent.

Are you surprised by how these stocks have fared during their respective scandals?

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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