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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Winterkorn’

Who Knew What and When: Top VW Managers Turn on One Another

Former Chairman Piech accuses company of cover-up.

by on Feb.09, 2017

Ferdinand Piech, grandson of the company's founder, resigned as chairman due to a dispute with his successor, Martin Winterkorn.

Volkswagen is forcefully denying claims by its former chairman that other top company managers covered up its diesel emissions scandal.

Questioned during an internal investigation of the affair – which centers around VW’s admission it rigged two high-volume diesel engines to illegally pass emissions tests – former Chairman Ferdinand Piech reportedly told authorities he had advised board members about the subterfuge long before it was publicly revealed. In particular, Piech’s testimony appears to focus on Martin Winterkorn, the CEO forced out of the company in September 2015.

Global News!

VW, which has long insisted the scandal was the work of a “handful” of lower-level engineers, said in a statement that it has “unequivocally and emphatically rejected all assertions made by Ferdinand Piech as untrue.”

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Latest VW Diesel Deal Could Be Even More Costly

German maker could pay $4b, triple initial pricetag, if it can’t fix 3-liter engine.

by on Feb.01, 2017

A line-up of Audi TDI models. The automaker may have to boost its reserve to cover the diesel scandal.

The settlement covering a rigged, 3.0-liter turbodiesel could cost Volkswagen as much as $4 billion if it cannot come up with the necessary fix for nearly 60,000 vehicles whose engines were rigged to illegally pass U.S. emissions tests – at least three times more than the initial settlement calls for.

The impact of the scandal – which previously saw VW agree to pay out $14.7 billion to cover nearly 500,000 vehicles using a smaller diesel engine – continues to grow, and to spread. German mega-supplier Robert Bosch GmbH now has negotiated its own settlement, which will require it to pay $327.5 million to American owners of VW diesels.

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Meanwhile, VW’s Audi division is now examining whether it has set aside enough money to cover its share of the burden. It has already set the figure at 980 million euros, or $1.06 billion at the current exchange rate. Audi sold a number of different models in the U.S. using both the 2.0- and 3.0-liter turbodiesels.

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Former VW CEO Under Increasing Scrutiny

Prosecutors asking what Winterkorn knew and when.

by on Jan.27, 2017

Ousted VW CEO Martin Winterkorn during a presentation at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, ousted following the revelation of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions rigging, may have known about the subterfuge far earlier than he has so far acknowledged, according to German prosecutors.

If that proves true, the life-long VW executive could face potential criminal charges on both sides of the Atlantic. After announcing a $4.3 billion settlement of a criminal investigation of the automaker earlier this month – a deal that was accompanied by six criminal indictments — U.S. Justice Department officials said they might yet bring charges against other VW employees.

In the Know!

The German investigation further challenges claims by the automaker that only a “handful” of low-level engineers knew about the plan to use rigged software to help VW’s diesel engines pass tight U.S. emissions standards.

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VW’s Ex-CEO Winterkorn Under the Microscope

Denies hiding diesel scandal from investors.

by on Jan.19, 2017

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn remains a target of investigators in Germany.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn testified that he had no advance warning of the company’s diesel emissions cheating despite some concerns he intentionally misled VW investors before the scandal broke wide open in September 2015.

Winterkorn has been under a cloud of suspicion in recent months as prosecutors in both Germany and the U.S. have dug ever deeper into VW’s rigging of diesel emissions tests. As part of a $4.3 billion settlement between the company and the U.S. Justice Department announced last week, six VW employees were indicted for their alleged role in coming up with the so-called “defeat devices” used in the automaker’s 2.0- and 3.0-liter engines. Now, the focus turns to whether top management tried to conceal what they knew.

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“As CEO I took political responsibility,” the 69-year-old Winterkorn said during a German parliamentary inquiry on Thursday, adding that, “this step was the most difficult of my life.”

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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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