Category: Crime & Punishment

By on November 23, 2015

2014 audi a6 tdi side

Audi, a brand within Volkswagen Group that markets the majority of 3-liter diesel engines sold by the group in the United States, released a statement Monday detailing how it plans to fix vehicles that use a defeat device. The automaker also stated that three separate Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices — not just one — are used in 2009 and later 3-liter diesels used by Audi, Volkswagen (Touareg) and Porsche (Cayenne).

AECDs for those engines will “be revised, documented and submitted for approval,” Audi said in the statement.

Of the three AECDs, the EPA questioned the legality of a temperature conditioning procedure of the exhaust-gas cleaning system.

“One of (the AECDs) is regarded as a defeat device according to applicable US law. Specifically, this is the software for the temperature conditioning of the exhaust-gas cleaning system,” Audi said in a statement.

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By on November 20, 2015

2014 Audi A7 TDI (11 of 34)

During a meeting Thursday between the Environmental Protection Agency, Volkswagen and Audi, officials from the automakers told the regulator an emissions program for 3-liter turbodiesel engines is also used on 2009 through 2016 model year vehicles, the EPA said in a statement today.

An earlier statement from the EPA on November 2 pointed the finger at a limited number of models and model years equipped with the 3-liter diesels, even though other model years of those same vehicles are virtually identical with regards to their emissions systems.

In the latest statement, the EPA is still calling the emissions program a defeat device, though Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have yet to recant their claim that the emissions program is legal and doesn’t violate emissions laws.

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By on November 20, 2015

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Volkswagen will have to submit Friday its plans to the California Air Resources Board and Environmental Protection Agency to fix hundreds of thousands of illegally polluting cars in the U.S., Reuters reported (via Automotive News). Although a fix is due today, testing that fix could take months before it would be installed in cars.

The deadline for the automaker comes after it announced it would ask Michael Steiner, head of Porsche development and quality, to oversee Volkswagen’s compliance with officials worldwide to fix up to 11 million cars. In Europe, Volkswagen demonstrated a fix for its 1.6-liter diesel engine that included an air sensor and software update that cost around $10.68, according to German outlet Wirtschaftswoche.

Volkswagen has said that its newer cars would likely only need a software update to be compliant. Older cars that are equipped with EA189 2-liter diesel engines may need more costly fixes.

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By on November 13, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (3 of 8)

How many among Volkswagen’s ranks were involved in the automaker’s ongoing diesel scandal? Works council boss Bernd Osterloh says it’s anyone’s guess.

In a joint interview with VW brand CEO Herbert Diess, Osterloh told Reuters the scandal could involve 10, 50, or 100 people, if not more. He added those involved would still “remain a limited group” out of a global workforce of 600,000.

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By on November 13, 2015


On Thursday, Google’s autonomous car development team reported that Mountain View, California police pulled over the robot car for traveling too slowly. No ticket was issued.

According to the team’s Google Plus page, officers pulled over the car because they “want to know more about the project.” According to Mountain View police, the officer wanted reminded the car’s human passengers that impeding traffic is against the law. Tomato, potato.

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By on November 12, 2015

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

The New York Times is reporting that a loophole in emissions regulations for European cars could keep Volkswagen from paying billions to governments for illegally polluting cars. Regulators considered closing the loophole in 2011, but ultimately failed to do so, which could leave the escape hatch ever-so cracked for Volkswagen to run through.

According to the report, which cites internal meeting notes of European regulators in Geneva, automakers can send through testing cars programmed for special circumstances that daily drivers can’t access.

“A manufacturer could specify a special setting that is not normally used for everyday driving,” British regulators warned in 2011, according to the New York Times. Read More >

By on November 8, 2015


A number of Volkswagen engineers cheated on tests used to determine carbon dioxide emissions because goals set by former group CEO Martin Winterkorn were too demanding and difficult to achieve, reported German outlet Bild am Sonntag.

The report was “broadly confirmed” by Volkswagen, stated The New York Times. It’s believed goals set by Winterkorn, which would have made Volkswagen vehicles cleaner than required by European regulations, pressured the engineers to manipulate the tests as they were afraid to admit they could not meet those goals.

The engineers pumped up tire pressures to reduce rolling resistance and put diesel in motor oil to make the vehicles more fuel efficient, thus producing less carbon dioxide. The practice “began in 2013 and carried on until the spring of this year,” reported Automotive News.

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By on November 8, 2015


Volkswagen engineers in Germany are afraid to do business trips to the U.S. because one employee had his passport confiscated by U.S. investigators, reported Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest subscription daily newspaper, on Saturday.

The paper goes on to explain Volkswagen believes U.S. authorities want to question certain engineers and are preventing their exit from the country, and evasion of questioning, by confiscating their passports.

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By on November 6, 2015

Takata Logo on Belt

Toyota said Thursday that the world’s largest automaker would no longer use the beleaguered company’s airbags, joining Honda, Mazda and others, putting in doubt that supplier’s viability, Bloomberg reported (via Fortune).

Reuters (via Automotive News) reported that the automotive supplier, who was hit with a $70 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this week, is preparing for the worst.

“We are considering some plans to survive, but it is not at the stage I can talk about yet,” CEO Shigehisa Takada said Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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By on November 5, 2015


Officials from Volkswagen will meet Thursday with the Environmental Protection Agency to explain to regulators how a “temperature conditioning” mode isn’t illegal, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).

“(Auxiliary Emission Control Device) software does not alter emissions levels, but it ensures after a cold start (of the engine) that the catalytic converters quickly reach their working temperature and emissions cleaning takes effect,” VW said, according to Reuters.

In its notification to the automaker Monday, officials from the EPA specifically outlined how a “temperature conditioning” mode, specifically timed to the length of the EPA’s initial tests, reduced emissions up to nine times in cars equipped with VW’s 3-liter diesel engine.

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Doug DeMuro, United States
  • Steven Lang, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, United States
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States