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VW Offering $1 Bil to US Diesel Owners

Reported plan would give $5,000 to each owner of rigged diesel cars.

by on Apr.20, 2016

VW could announce the compensation plan as early as this week.

Volkswagen will offer U.S. owners of vehicles with rigged diesel engines $5,000 apiece, according to a plan the embattled German automaker is reportedly preparing.

The deal, which is expected to cost VW just over $1 billion, could be disclosed as early as tomorrow when the carmaker is expected to appear before a federal judge in San Francisco. But VW is not believed to yet have a plant to fix those diesels, as it was supposed to put together by April 21st, according to reports in both the German newspaper Die Welt and on the Associated Press wire service.

Breaking News!

VW is facing more than 500 lawsuits filed on behalf of diesel owners in the wake of revelations it had equipped its vehicles with a so-called “defeat device,” software designed to detect when those cars were undergoing emissions tests and then modify engine operations to reduce levels of smog-causing oxides of nitrogen. Almost 550,000 of those vehicles were sold in the U.S., with 11 million sold worldwide.

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VW Hit With New Lawsuits by Investors, Former Employee

Embattled maker accused of destroying diesel data.

by on Mar.15, 2016

VW officials initially thought the scandal would have a minimal financial impact.

Already facing more than 500 lawsuits in the U.S., Volkswagen has been hit with two new legal actions that could seriously compound the problems it is facing in the wake of revelations it cheated on diesel emissions tests.

One suit, filed in Germany by major institutional investors, seeks nearly $3.6 billion due to the lost value in Volkswagen shares which have plunged by a third since the scandal broke last September. The other new legal action was initiated by a former VW employee who claims he was fired after trying to prevent the deletion of data connected to emissions test cheating.

Breaking News!

The latter suit could prove particularly problematic as Volkswagen is under criminal investigation in several countries, including both the U.S. and Germany, and was ordered to preserve potential evidence related to its admitted rigging of diesel tests.

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Dirty VW Diesels May Remain on the Road

California regulators fear no easy fix available.

by on Mar.10, 2016

Some older VW diesel models may not be completely fixed, says a California regulator.

Volkswagen has just two weeks to deliver an acceptable solution to its dirty diesel problem, according to the orders of a federal judge. But regulators in California are starting to worry that the maker might not be able to come up with a satisfactory fix short of scrapping tens of thousands of those vehicles.

As a result, a senior official with the California Air Resources Board says the organization is considering whether to let those vehicles continue to operate while falling short of both state and federal clean air mandates.

Breaking News!

“Our goal has been to fix the vehicles and return them to their certified configuration as expeditiously as possible,” CARB enforcement chief Todd Sax said during a legislative hearing in Sacramento. “Unfortunately, this may not be possible.”

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German Prosecutors Target 17 in VW Diesel Scandal

CEO foresees “substantial and painful” financial damage.

by on Mar.08, 2016

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller has been trying to contain the diesel scandal.

German prosecutors have now put 17 people under investigation as they widen their probe of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal.

The number has grown in recent weeks from the initial six employees prosecutors say they were targeting – and now goes well beyond the “handful of engineers” VW’s senior executives have long said were behind the cheating.

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Separately, VW CEO Matthias Mueller on Tuesday said he expects the scandal to result in “substantial and painful” financial damage before it is fully resolved. The maker has already set aside more than $7 billion to cover those costs while also setting up a credit line for as much as $20 billion more.

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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.”

The Journal of Record!

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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Federal Judge Demands Fix for VW Diesel Problem

Deadline set for March 24.

by on Feb.26, 2016

Judge Charles Breyer want VW to speed up diesel repairs, settlements with owners.

A federal judge in San Francisco is giving Volkswagen a month to come up with an acceptable fix that would bring 600,000 polluting diesel vehicles into compliance with U.S. emissions laws.

The announcement by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer comes as the maker begins repairs of more than 10 million other diesel vehicles it sold outside of the United States. But so far, the German maker hasn’t been able to come up with a solution that will satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency, which first revealed last September that VW had cheated on diesel emissions tests.

The Last Word!

“Six months is long enough” to come up with a solution, said Judge Breyer, who will oversee hundreds of lawsuits filed against the German maker that were recently consolidated before his court. “This is an ongoing problem.”

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New Documents Could Cause More Trouble for VW

Maker resisted Takata airbag recall; top execs knew about diesel probe.

by on Feb.15, 2016

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn may have known about diesel cheating in May 2014.

New documents could cause new headaches for Volkswagen.

A top advisor at the German automaker, known internally as the “fireman,” appears to have advised senior executives about VW’s diesel problems as early as May 2014. The maker only acknowledged cheating on emissions tests in September 2015, responding to charges by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Insider News!

Separately, VW wrote U.S. safety regulators advising them it did not see the need for a recall involving Takata airbags now linked to at least 11 deaths and 139 injuries. The automaker this month reversed that position, recalling 850,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.

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VW Blames “Whole Chain of Mistakes” for Diesel Emissions Cheating

Focus of inquiry is on “very limited group which acted irresponsibly.”

by on Dec.10, 2015

VW Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch blames a "very limited group" for the diesel emissions cheating.

Unable to meet increasingly rigid U.S. emissions standards, a “very limited group…acted irresponsibly,” said Volkswagen Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, in an interim report on the carmaker’s internal investigation of its diesel emissions cheating.

VW is facing billions of dollars in fines and other costs related to the scandal which was triggered by the revelation in September that it installed a so-called “defeat device” in nearly 500,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. between 2009 and 2015, and more than 11 million models sold worldwide.

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For the Record!

“We are not talking about a one-off mistake, but a whole chain of mistakes that was not interrupted at any point along the time line,” Poetsch said during a meeting with reporters at VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

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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.

A Global Perspective!

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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New Volkswagen North America Chief Out After Just 3 Weeks

Move creates further turmoil amid diesel crisis.

by on Oct.14, 2015

Winfried Vahland lasted barely three weeks as head of new VW North America Region.

Less than three weeks after being appointed head of the troubled maker’s North American operations, Winfried Vahland is leaving the company.

The creation of a new North American umbrella unit, and the appointment of the former head of the Skoda brand was supposed to help bring stability at a time VW’s very existence is being threatened by a global diesel emissions cheating scandal.

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The reason for Vahland’s sudden departure was described as the result of “differing views” with top corporate management back in Wolfsburg, Germany. In a statement, VW asserted that his departure was “expressly not related” to the scandal triggered last month by word the maker had created secret software code designed to help it pass tough diesel emissions tests.

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