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Posts Tagged ‘vw diesel scandal’

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.

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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.

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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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GM Paying $1M SEC Fine to Settle Ignition Switch Scandal

Fine resolves matters at the federal level, but the case still drags on.

by on Jan.18, 2017

A replacement for the faulty GM ignition switches.

General Motors is hoping to begin closing the door on its ignition switch scandal with the payment of a $1 million penalty to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC was one of the many government agencies to pursue GM after the maker was found to have improperly responded to internal data showing a faulty switch design could cause some of its vehicles to shut off unexpectedly. The defect has been blamed for at least 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries. The securities probe focused not on safety but whether improper accounting kept the company from properly disclosing the potential financial impact of the defect to shareholders.

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The fine is relatively modest when compared to the more than $2 billion the defect has so far cost the largest of the Detroit automakers. That includes a $900 million settlement GM reached with the U.S. Justice Department to close a criminal investigation in September 2015. The automaker also paid a $35 million penalty to the National Highway Safety Administration.

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Senior VW Managers Reportedly Warned to Stay Away from the U.S.

Five under indictment in diesel scandal remain in Germany.

by on Jan.13, 2017

Volkswagen is warning some of its executives to avoid traveling to the U.S. due to their involvement its the diesel scandal.

With six of its current or former managers facing indictment in the U.S. for their role in the company’s diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen is reportedly advising senior officials not to travel to the United States.

During a news conference this week announcing a $4.3 billion settlement of its VW investigation, U.S. Department of Justice officials said they were not only going after a “faceless” corporation, but also seeking to hold responsible “flesh-and-blood individuals.”

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One Volkswagen manager was indicted last year, pleading guilty and agreeing to assist the probe. This week, six other senior managers were indicted by the DOJ. One was arrested in Florida ahead of the settlement announcement. Five others are now in Germany and, at least for the moment, out of the government’s reach. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Latest to be Charged With Rigging Diesel Emissions

Automaker’s stock price tumbles in wake of EPA allegations.

by on Jan.12, 2017

The Ram 1500 turbodiesel has won a number of awards since its 2015 introduction.

Barely 24 hours after the U.S. Justice Department announced a $4.3 billion settlement with Volkswagen AG in connection with the German maker’s diesel emissions scandal, the Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of rigging its own diesel engines to illegally pass emissions test.

The agency said the so-called defeat device technology “appeared to cause the vehicles to perform differently when being tested” than when in use in real-world conditions. That was the same thing the EPA, in September 2014, charged that Volkswagen had done. Since then, VW has paid out close to $25 billion in fines and penalties related to the scandal. And FCA stockholders, apparently fearing a similar financial hit, sent the maker’s stock tumbling in the wake of the latest revelation.

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“This is a clear and serious violation of the Clean Air Act,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The undisclosed software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides from the vehicles, threatening public health by polluting the air that we breathe.”

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VW Agrees to $4.3 Bil Criminal Settlement in VW Diesel Scandal

No “rogues”; “very significant people in company” were involved.

by on Jan.11, 2017

"They obfuscated, they denied and they ultimately lied," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The U.S. Justice Department and several other federal agencies have announced a $4.3 billion settlement of the criminal investigation of Volkswagen AG’s diesel emissions rigging, regulators also revealing that six executives have been indicted on charges ranging from wire fraud to conspiracy to defraud the government.

Justice officials said the investigation will continue into actions that might have been taken by other officials. The list of those involved in the scandal, they noted during a Wednesday afternoon news conference in Washington, D.C., include some “very significant people in the company,” one executive managing more than 10,000 other employees. The automaker had previously tried to downplay the situation, insisting on several occasions that only a “handful” of “rogue” workers had been involved.

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“It is now clear Volkswagen’s top officials knew about these activities and kept the American government and the American people in the dark,” said Andrew McCabe, deputy director of the FBI, “and they did it for years.”

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VW Crawls Closer to Diesel Resolution with $4.3B Settlement

Any deal would preclude authorities arresting employees.

by on Jan.11, 2017

Volkswagen is inching closer to closing the books on its diesel emissions scandal with a $4.3 billion settlement.

Volkswagen AG appears to be one very expensive step closer to winding up its diesel emissions scandal case in the U.S. after agreeing to pay a $4.3 billion settlement for the impact of rigging its diesels to cheat U.S. requirements.

The proposed deal with the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection forces VW to enter a guilty plea regarding “certain U.S. criminal-law provisions.” Also the agreement, which isn’t final yet, forces the automaker to be subject to an independent monitor for the next three years.

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VW officials said the settlement “is still subject to the approval by the management board and the supervisory board of Volkswagen AG.” The Justice Department declined to comment. (more…)

VW Gets Go-Ahead to Repair 60,000 Late-Model Diesels

Fix gives alternative to buyback on 2015 models with 2-liter engine.

by on Jan.06, 2017

Volkswagen received approval to repair more than 58,000 2.0-liter turbodiesel engines.

Volkswagen has been given the go-ahead to repair more than 58,000 late-model vehicles sold in the U.S. using its 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, the first time a fix has been authorized by regulators in both the U.S. and California.

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the automaker claim the remedy will maintain current fuel economy numbers, as well as the performance and reliability of the affected models. VW had built a reputation for delivering good mileage and performance with its diesels but in September 2015, the government revealed that the maker rigged emissions tests to achieve those additional goals.

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“This is an important step,” the automaker said in a statement. “We will now notify eligible customers in the United States that they can receive phase one of this modification at dealerships free of charge as soon as possible.” (more…)