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Posts Tagged ‘vw diesel’

VW Planning 10-Year Comeback for the U.S.

Strategy includes -- what else -- more SUVs.

by on Sep.01, 2017

VW CEO Herbert Diess and former US chief Michael Horn at the unveiling of the new Tiguan.

Nearly two years after Volkswagen admitted rigging the diesel engines on 11 million vehicles to illegally pass emissions tests, top company officials have laid out a series of steps they hope will help rebuild both trust and demand in markets around the world, notably in the U.S., where the diesel scam cover-up first was revealed.

Special discounts of up to $9,000 will be offered to get current diesel owners in Europe to trade back in on another VW model, while the German automaker said it will expand its array of SUVs coming to the ute-crazed American market, senior officials said, following a VW board meeting at the company’s plant in Chattanooga, TN.

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“The brand suffered a lot worldwide, we are suffering still. And for sure we are not through,” Herbert Diess, VW’s global brand boss said, adding that, “We can’t win America over in two years time. It’s a 10-year plan.”

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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.

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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 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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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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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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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 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 Strikes Deal on Bigger Diesel Engines – Will Mean Mix of Buybacks and Fixes

"We are committed to earning back trust," says VW's US chief.

by on Dec.20, 2016

Audi used the 3.0-liter turbodiesel in a number of models before the emissions scandal broke.

Volkswagen has reached a settlement with federal and state regulators involving about 80,000 diesel vehicles not covered by the $15 billion settlement the automaker agreed to last June.

While some details have yet to be released, the tentative deal that has been presented to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco authorizes both buybacks and fixes for Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi models equipped with the German maker’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel. The earlier agreement covered 475,000 VW and Audi vehicles fitted with a 2.0-liter diesel engine.

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“The agreement announced by the Court today between Volkswagen and U.S. environmental regulators is another important step forward in our efforts to make things right for our customers,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “

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