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Posts Tagged ‘Audi diesel’

Audi Slashing $12b in Costs to Cover Electrification Goal

Luxury marque needs to offset cost of diesel emissions scandal.

by on Jul.31, 2017

Audi showed off its e-Tron Sportback Concept at this year's Shanghai Motor Show.

As it shifts away from its long dependence on diesel powertrains, Audi is looking to rapidly ramp up its electrification program, but the luxury arm of Volkswagen Group will have to slash spending to cover the costs of its new technology.

Audi intends to cut costs by 10 billion euros, or $12 billion, by 2022 to support its aggressive shift to electrification, according to a report by Germany’s Handelsblatt business publication.

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That money will help it bring to market five all-new battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well as a range of plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids, according to the report.

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Former VW Executive To Plead Guilty in Diesel Scam

Oliver Schmidt faced 169 years in prison on 11 felony counts.

by on Jul.25, 2017

Former VW manager Oliver Schmidt is the only official currently in U.S. custody.

Oliver Schmidt, one of nine current and former employees charged in connection with Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scam, has agreed to plead guilty, according to a federal court spokesman in Detroit.

A one-time senior engineer based in Michigan where he ran VW’s U.S. environmental operations, Schmidt was accused of helping to cover up the automaker’s efforts to rig two diesel engines so they would illegally pass emissions tests. Since the ruse was uncovered in late 2015, the German automaker has had to pay out around $30 billion in fines, fees and for a buyback program covering about 500,000 vehicles sold in the U.S.

Clearing the Air!

Schmidt would be the second VW employee to plead guilty to charges related to the diesel scam, 62-year-old James Robert Liang the first to do so last September. Like Liang, Schmidt is expected to get a break by agreeing to aid the ongoing investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Separate criminal investigations are underway in Germany.

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VW Sweetens Deals to Move Leftover Diesels

Low-interest loans, cash bonuses of up to $8,500 aimed to clear out inventory.

by on May.08, 2017

VW recently got permission from the EPA to update rigged 2015 diesels and sell them off.

While VW no longer plans to import diesels in the wake of its costly and embarrassing emissions scandal, the company has thousands of leftover models that it now has permission from the EPA to sell in the U.S. after making extensive powertrain modifications.

Getting wary buyers to snap them up is proving a challenge, no surprise for 2015 model-year leftovers. So, VW is offering some hefty incentives – including extended, zero-interest loans and up to $8,500 in cash – to get those products off showroom lots.

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The diesels now meet tough U.S. emissions mandates. Originally, they carried a hidden “defeat device,” software code that was designed to detect when one of the vehicles was undergoing testing and revise the way the cars performed. In real-world conditions, however, they would produce up to about 40 times more pollutants – notably smog-causing oxides of nitrogen – than the law allows.

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Volkswagen Delivers Solid Profit Despite Diesel Scandal

U.S. buyback program set to get underway.

by on Oct.27, 2016

The Porsche Macan helped drive big profits for the brand - and for parent Volkswagen AG.

As it begins to see its massive diesel scandal fade into the rearview mirror, Volkswagen AG reported Thursday a big jump in third-quarter earnings.

The German maker had a net, after-tax profit of 2.34 billion euros, or $2.55 billion. By comparison, VW went 6.7 billion euros into the red a year ago as it set aside funds to cover fines and legal costs triggered by the revelation it had rigged emissions tests on its 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel engines.

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On Tuesday, a judge in San Francisco gave final approval to a nearly $15 settlement with U.S. and California regulators covering the smaller of the two powertrains. That includes up to $10 billion to buy back the 475,000 Audi and Volkswagen brand vehicles sold in the U.S. using that engine. VW says buybacks are likely to begin by mid-November, though the maker still hopes to come up with a technical fix for at least some of those vehicles.

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VW Diesel Scandal Takes Down Audi Exec, Spreads to Supplier Bosch

Audi’s top engineer suspended.

by on Sep.19, 2016

Stefan Knirsch is the latest executive to the step down as a result of the ongoing scandal.

The head of R&D for German luxury car brand Audi is the latest to fall as the investigation into parent Volkswagen AG’s diesel emissions scandal moves forward.

An outside investigation commissioned by VW found that Stefan Knirsch, who also served as an Audi board member, knew about efforts to rig diesel engines with a so-called “defeat device,” and then lied about the subterfuge under oath. His suspension, first reported by German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, comes about a week after a U.S.-based Volkswagen engineer became the first company official to plead guilty as part of an expanding investigation by the Justice Department.

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Separately, Justice investigators have begun probing the role of some Volkswagen suppliers, notably including German partsmaker Bosch, to see if they also participated in – or were at least aware of – the emissions test-rigging efforts. Bosch, is high on that list, according to a report by the Bloomberg News Service, as one of the suppliers of emissions technology, including software.

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California Regulators Reject VW Plan to Repair 3.0-Liter Diesels

German maker still hopes to avoid another buyback program.

by on Jul.14, 2016

The fix would have covered VW and Porsche products - as well as the Audi diesels shown here.

Volkswagen’s plan to recall and repair thousands of vehicles using its rigged 3.0-liter diesel has gotten the thumbs-down from California regulators.

VW late last month agreed to spend $14.7 billion to settle consumer lawsuits and U.S. government allegations that it cheated on emissions tests involving its 2.0-liter turbodiesel. The deal includes plans to buy back about 475,000 of those vehicles sold in the U.S. since 2009. But the German maker said it was working up a fix for the larger 3.0-liter diesel that would eliminate the need for a similar buyback program.

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That proposal has been rejected, according to a letter the California Air Resources Board has sent to VW. It declared that the proposed fix is ” incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall(s) far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration.”

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VW CEO Alerted, Failed to React to Diesel Crisis

German maker thought impact of scandal would be marginal; Audi earnings now take hit.

by on Mar.03, 2016

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn shown at the maker's 2015 annual meeting.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was advised of the maker’s cheating on diesel emissions tests at least 16 months ahead of when the scandal became public, the automaker confirmed.

Separately, VW has issued an advisory to its shareholders revealing it did not expect the subterfuge to erupt into what is arguably the biggest crisis in its post-War history. The company said it anticipated a quick resolution with U.S. authorities and that the cost of resolving the issue would likely be “not especially high.”

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With more than 500 lawsuits facing it, including one filed by the U.S. Justice Department, the costs appear to be mounting – as became clear Thursday when VW’s luxury subsidiary Audi reported a sharp, 6.1% decline in 2015 earnings. Audi shares several of the diesel engines involved in the emissions scandal.

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VW Offering Diesel Owners Goodwill Gift Cards, Vouchers

German maker’s debt downgraded by two key ratings agencies.

by on Nov.09, 2015

VW owners won't lose their right to sue the company by accepting the goodwill offerings.

Owners of Volkswagen vehicles involved in a diesel cheating scandal are set to receive $1,000 in gift cars and vouchers, as well as free roadside service, as part of a goodwill gesture, the maker announced Monday.

The move affects owners of 482,000 vehicles equipped with VW’s 2.0-liter EA-189 diesel engines sold in the U.S. over a seven-year period. In September, the Environmental Protection Agency charged that the maker had used a so-called “defect device” to pass emissions tests, even though the vehicles produced far more pollution in real-world use, allegations the automaker subsequently confirmed.

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VW also revealed the suspect software was installed on a total of 11 million vehicles sold worldwide. And while the German maker plans to begin installing a fix as early as January, repairs could take significantly longer in the U.S. because VW has not come up with a solution accepted by the EPA.

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VW, Porsche, Audi Order Stop-Sale on High-Line Diesels

But German brands contend they didn't cheat with 3.0-liter diesel.

by on Nov.04, 2015

The Audi Q7 TDI is one of the numerous Audi, Porsche and VW models affected by the stop-sale.

Volkswagen and its Audi and Porsche brands have ordered a stop-sale on a wide range of high-end diesel vehicles accused by the Environmental Protection Agency of using hidden software to cheat on emissions tests.

But the German maker contends the code identified by the EPA was not intended to hide pollution problems with the company’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel but actually to further reduce emissions in real-world conditions.

Getting to the Facts!

“It’s an auxiliary emissions control device, not the defeat device used in the 2.0-liter diesel,” said Audi spokesman Brad Stertz, referring to the smaller diesel engine used in 11 million vehicles sold worldwide, including 482,000 sold in the U.S. over a seven-year period.

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Diesel Users Getting Little Relief on Prices

Diesel car market could be set to implode.

by on Jan.02, 2015

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel captured the Green Car Journal's "Green Truck of the Year" award for 2015.

American motorists have a particularly good reason to celebrate the New Year, unleaded regular gasoline averaging barely $2.40 a gallon across the country, according to federal data, as low as the price has been in more than half a decade.

But not everyone is sharing in the good news. The relatively small number of motorists – along with the nation’s truckers — who depend on diesel are paying an average of $3.28 a gallon, according to the most recent survey by the Energy Information Administration. That figure did mark a decline of nearly 60 cents since the beginning of 2014, but was nowhere near the 87-cent plunge in gas prices.

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And there are signs that the widening cost gap is starting to short circuit the nascent comeback of the diesel market. Demand for so-called clean diesels had been growing a significantly faster rate than the overall U.S. automotive recovery through mid-2014, but sales are beginning to slip as lower gas prices offset the higher mileage diesels offer.

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