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Posts Tagged ‘vw diesel scandal’

Settle or Sue: U.S. Ready to Take on FCA Over Diesel Rigging Allegations

Automaker accused of using “defeat device” to meet emissions mandates.

by on May.18, 2017

The Ram 1500 turbodiesel has won a number of awards - but the EPA claims it was rigged to pass emissions tests.

The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly given Fiat Chrysler Automobiles an ultimatum: either settle allegations it rigged its diesel models to illegally pass U.S. emissions tests or be hit with a lawsuit.

With the Euro-American automaker so far fiercely challenging those claims by the government, a civil suit could be filed as early as this week, according to a report by the Reuters news service.

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The automaker says it sees the threat of litigation as “counterproductive,” adding that it “will defend itself vigorously” in court, if necessary. But whether it will now back down is uncertain considering FCA management will need to weigh the potential damages – both in terms of legal costs and possible fines and penalties, as well as the hit to its image the automaker could face.

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VW CEO Mueller Target of Criminal Probe

Despite concerns about role in diesel scandal, Audi CEO Stadler gets new contract.

by on May.17, 2017

VW CEO Matthias Mueller his now at the center of an investigation by German prosecutors over the ongoing diesel emissions scandal.

Already focused on a number of former Volkswagen employees, German prosecutors today said they are also investigating the possible role CEO Matthias Mueller may have played in the attempt to cover up VW’s diesel emissions scandal.

Specifically, Mueller and at least two others may have failed to properly informed regulators and investors soon enough once they learned that Volkswagen engineers had developed a so-called defeat device in an attempt to fool diesel vehicle emissions tests.

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Even while the probe expands, however, news reports from Germany indicate Rupert Stadler, the CEO of VW’s Audi luxury brand, will have his contract extended five years. Though well-rated for his handling of Audi overall, Stadler has come under fire for his own, alleged role in the diesel scandal. (more…)

VW’s Mueller Under Investigation Over Diesel Scandal

Move comes from his time as head of Porsche.

by on May.10, 2017

VW CEO Matthias Mueller is under investigation over his role in VW's diesel scandal while he led Porsche.

Volkswagen’s woes related to its diesel scandal continue as Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller is now under investigation in Germany.

Prosecutors are investigating the possibility that he did not fully disclose details of the company’s emissions scandal to investors, according to multiple reports.

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Until now, Mueller managed to remain above the diesel investigatory fray. Other VW executives, most notably former CEO Martin Winterkorn, who denied any involvement, but resigned anyway, have been caught up in the churn of queries over the 2015 emissions scandal. (more…)

VW Declares “The Future is Electric”

German maker reveals e-mobility plans to investors – but declines to release diesel probe.

by on May.10, 2017

VW CEO Matthias Mueller plans to triple spending on alternative powertrain technologies.

Volkswagen executives had a lot to say about their plans to bring electric and high-efficiency gas vehicles to market over the next decade, during the German automaker’s annual shareholders meeting – but they were largely mum when it came to the specifics of an extensive internal probe into the company’s cheating on diesel emissions standards.

“The future is electric,” declared Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller, during the annual meeting in Hanover, not far from the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. And VW, he added, “intend(s) to be the number one in e-mobility by 2025.

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The German automaker plans to bring out 10 electrified models by 2018, and have 30 more battery-electric models in its product portfolio by 2025, said Mueller, expanding on VW’s earlier commitment to the technology. All 12 of the company’s brands are expected to add some electrified models.

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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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Daimler Cautions it Could Be Target for Diesel Penalties and Recalls

Warning comes days after court approves $2.8b VW diesel fine.

by on Apr.26, 2017

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec is one a number of different Daimler diesels.

Daimler AG is finding itself in the crosshairs and wondering whether it could be the next target in a crackdown on diesel emissions scams.

The automaker today issued an advisory that it could face penalties, which could mean fines and recalls, as regulators in the U.S. and abroad look to see if the German luxury maker violated rules covering its various diesel models. Authorities have been taking a close look at claims made by a number of manufacturers in the wake of revelations that Volkswagen used a so-called “defeat device” to illegally pass U.S. diesel emissions tests.

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“In light of the ongoing governmental information requests, inquiries and investigations, and our own internal investigation, it cannot be ruled out that the authorities might reach the conclusion that Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles have similar functionalities,” Daimler said in its newly released quarterly report.

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Judge Approves $2.8 bil VW Criminal Penalty

Largest criminal fine in U.S. history.

by on Apr.21, 2017

"A very serious and troubling case involving an iconic automobile company," said Judge Sean Cox.

A federal judge in Detroit Friday signed off on what could be one of the last big developments in the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, ordering the German maker to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty negotiated as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department last January.

The ruling now brings to around $30 billion the costs VW will incur after being caught rigging two of its diesel engines to illegal pass U.S. emissions tests – a figure that includes the price of buying back almost 500,000 vehicles sold in the country. Meanwhile, seven current and former Volkswagen employees have been charged with crimes connected to the scandal, while an investigation continues in Germany.

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“I just can’t believe that VW is in this situation that it finds itself in today,” said Judge Sean Cox, calling it a “very serious and troubling case involving an iconic automobile company.”

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German Prosecutors Raid VW, Audi Offices

Probe expands as Audi and VW execs come under closer scrutiny.

by on Mar.15, 2017

German prosecutors raided Volkswagen and Audi offices recently as part of an ongoing investigation into the diesel-rigging scandal.

Even as the criminal and civil cases against Volkswagen over its rigging of diesel engines wind down in the U.S., German prosecutors are ramping up their own probe – which could lead to additional criminal charges against current and former VW officials, including one-time CEO Martin Winterkorn.

The latest twist comes as the embattled automaker confirms that prosecutors had launched raids at VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, as well as the offices of its semi-independent Audi subsidiary near Munich.

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“The execution of the search warrants is meant to clarify which persons were involved in the use of the relevant technology and, where applicable, were involved in providing inaccurate information to third parties,” said Munich prosecutor Ken Heidenreich, in a statement announcing the move against Audi’s offices. (more…)

VW Brand Profit Slammed by Diesel Emissions Scandal Costs

U.S. remains "core market," says CEO Mueller.

by on Mar.14, 2017

VW CEO Matthias Mueller holds the wireless fob for the Sedric robotic car at the Geneva Motor Show.

Volkswagen revealed a classic good news/bad news scenario on Tuesday morning. After reporting record group profits last month for 2016, the automaker now says operating earnings at the flagship VW brand took a sharp hit as a result of the maker’s diesel emissions scandal.

The automaker has so far agreed to spend nearly $25 billion on fines and settlements in the U.S. alone as a result of the scandal, and that doesn’t include a hefty increase in marketing costs since the diesel engine rigging was revealed in September 2015.

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Nonetheless, Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller put a positive outlook on the maker’s current situation, insisting it was “back on track” after one of the worst crises in its eight-decade history. Mueller himself took home 7.8 million euros, or $8.5 million, in pay and other forms of compensation for 2016.

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Volkswagen Pleads Guilty to Three Felony Counts in Diesel Scandal

Judge agrees to consider motion from owners.

by on Mar.10, 2017

Volkswagen AG pleaded guilty to three felony counts in U.S. District Court in Detroit today.

This story has been updated with new information.

Volkswagen AG pleaded guilty to three felony counts in U.S. District court in Detroit as part of a $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice.

The guilty pleas were a first for VW, which had never pleaded guilty to any criminal charges before — ever, according to VW officials.

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“Your honor, VW AG is pleading guilty to all three counts because it is guilty on all three counts,” said VW general counsel Manfred Doess while entering plea on the company’s behalf. He flew from Germany to Detroit for the trial. (more…)