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Posts Tagged ‘vw investigation’

Pleading Guilty, VW Engineer Will Cooperate in Diesel Investigation

James Liang helped develop emissions test-cheating software.

by on Sep.09, 2016

VW diesel engineer James Liang could help investigators trace who was responsible for the emissions cheating scandal. Photos courtesy WDIV.

A long-time Volkswagen engineer has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with Volkswagen’s diesel emissions test cheating scandal, and 62-year-old James Robert Liang now plans to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation.

Liang, who is a German native but also has a house in Newberry Park, California, spent 25 years working in the VW Diesel Development Department. During his assignment, the automaker found itself unable to deliver on a goal of boosting fuel economy and performance while driving down emissions, so Liang and his colleagues came up with software meant to temporarily cut pollutants during emissions tests.

The Last Word!

“Mr. Liang came to Detroit today to accept responsibility for his actions,” one of his attorneys said outside the U.S. District Court in Detroit where Liang entered his guilty plea. “He is one of many people at Volkswagen who got caught up in this emissions scandal and he’s very remorseful for what occurred.”

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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.

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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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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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VW Delays 2015 Earnings Results, Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

Labor boss will “hold management responsible” for making needed changes.

by on Feb.05, 2016

Audi has submitted a plan to US officials for fixing the diesel engines in models like the Q7.

With management still trying to get a full grip on the diesel emissions cheating scandal that has rocked the world’s second-largest automaker, Volkswagen says it will delay the release of its 2015 earnings, as well as its annual shareholders meeting.

It is also unclear when VW will now publish the results of an internal investigation into the ongoing crisis. The report was to have been released in time for the company’s annual meeting. Leaked details have hinted that the subterfuge was an “open secret,” resulting from a corporate culture in which failure to meet even the most difficult goals was not an option.

Global News!

The annual shareholders meeting was scheduled for April 21, but VW said it will announce new dates for the gathering and the release of its earnings, explaining that it first must deal with “remaining open questions and the resulting valuation calculations relating to the diesel emissions issue.”

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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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“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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Volkswagen Engineers Admit Cheating, Feared Failure

Senior VW execs may avoid U.S. travel.

by on Nov.09, 2015

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn created a climate of fear encouraging cheating, says paper.

As an internal investigation gets underway, several Volkswagen engineers have acknowledged rigging emissions tests, among other things by adjusting tire settings and using non-standard oil.

A culture of fear may have driven Volkswagen’s emissions test cheating, according to a new report in the German paper, Bild am Sonntag, Volkswagen engineers afraid of what would happen if they couldn’t meet former CEO Martin Winterkorn’s aggressive CO2 targets.

In the Know!

Meanwhile, a separate report out of Germany indicates some VW managers are now reluctant to come to the U.S. fearing they could get caught up in an ongoing criminal probe by the Justice Department. At least one employee reportedly had his passport taken during a visit to the States.

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VW Setting Aside $7.3 Bil to Cover Cost of Diesel Scandal

Regulators in other markets question whether VW also rigged their emissions tests.

by on Sep.22, 2015

Whether VW has set aside enough money to cover the scandal's mounting costs is unclear.

Volkswagen is setting aside 6.5 billion Euros, or $7.3 billion, to cover the anticipated cost of resolving its diesel emissions cheating scandal, a figure that could nonetheless be eclipsed by potential penalties and lawsuits facing the German maker in the U.S.

The issue, meanwhile, now is spreading to other markets, VW confirming it used the same illicit software – dubbed a “defeat device” by U.S. regulators – on 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide. That has triggered calls for new investigations in markets from South Korea to the European Union.

Breaking News!

The money VW has aside is part of the company’s efforts to “win back the trust of our customers,” the maker said in a statement Tuesday. Meanwhile, it noted that it is “working intensely” to find a technical solution to removing the software without reducing the performance of affected VW products.

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