Category: Diesel

By on October 6, 2015


Speaking to roughly 20,000 employees in Wolfsburg on Tuesday, new Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller outlined the big-picture view for the weeks, months and years ahead. (It’s not good, if you’re wondering.)

Anything that is not absolutely necessary will be cancelled or postponed. And it is why we will be intensifying the efficiency program. To be perfectly frank: this will not be a painless process.

The automaker plans “massive cutbacks” according to Reuters, but Müller stopped short of outlining specifics to slow production or lay off workers. The 62-year-old CEO told workers that the company hasn’t calculated the final toll lying about pollution levels in 11 million cars would take on the company.

… while the technical solutions to these problems are imminent, it is not possible to quantify the commercial and financial implications at present.

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By on October 5, 2015

01 Volkswagen Jetta

According to Reuters, Volkswagen may have suspended engineers — including top engineers for Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche — without any evidence.

According to the report, more than 10 engineers were suspended in the fallout after it became clear the automaker cheated its way through emissions tests in the U.S. and Europe. It’s not clear if the suspended engineers would be reinstated at the company.

Reuters reported that VW’s internal investigation revealed that the illegal “defeat devices” began appearing in cars around 2008 after engineers discovered that their engine, which was costly to produce, wouldn’t pass emissions tests.

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By on October 4, 2015


A researcher from Leeds University says that at least four other automakers’ cars are polluting above the legal limits for Europe, including Ford, BMW, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz, the Daily Mail reported.

James Tate, a researcher and lecturer at the university measured over 300 new cars to comply with new Euro 6 diesel emissions standards. According to Tate, Mazda’s diesel engines, on average, emitted more than six times the European limit for nitrogen oxide emissions in new cars. Ford’s cars may have polluted more, but Tate said the automaker’s sample size was too small to tell.

According to the report, Tate used a roadside sniffer for testing in the UK, similar to ones used in the United States.

“This research shows that building cars so they perform well in laboratory emissions tests but emit high amounts of NOx in real urban driving is an endemic practice across the industry,” Tate said, according to the Daily Mail. “There is very little known about how the manufacturers conduct their tests because they take place behind closed doors.”

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By on October 3, 2015

Der neue Volkswagen XL1/XL1 ? Drive Luzern nach Genf

Volkswagen has a very steep, very tough hill to climb, and Volkswagen’s incoming chairman said the emissions scandal that affects 11 million cars is “a threat to the firm’s viability albeit a surmountable one,” reports Reuters.

Dieter Pötsch, who will soon take the chairman spot at Volkswagen Group AG, described the challenges ahead as an “existence-threatening crisis for the company” during a corporate meeting with employees in Wolfsburg, Germany’s Welt am Sonntag reported.

In order to take on those challenges, Volkswagen needs to fund the repairs of some 11 million vehicles, meaning cuts may be made to the company’s 100 billion euro R&D investment budget that was expected to last until 2018.

A cut in R&D spending is seen as a way to avoid a downgrade of the company’s credit ratings, a source close to the company’s board told Reuters.

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By on October 2, 2015


Update: We finally heard back from Volkswagen Canada (though, as you can imagine, their media relations department is probably a tad bit busier than usual).

The $2,000 amount is being offered as a “loyalty discount” for current TDI owners, regardless of size or type of diesel engine, for any new Volkswagen, regardless of engine and fuel type (except for stop-sale models, obviously). TDI owners do not need to trade-in their EA 189-equipped cars to qualify.

We attempted as best we could to confirm the ‘discount-on-trade-in’ story and we were given evidence to support the original story in La Presse. However, the truth was to the contrary. We apologize for the error.

The article now reflects the update.

Volkswagen Canada is offering a $2,000 incentive for current TDI owners, regardless of the age of the car or type of TDI engine, toward any other new Volkswagen model.

La Presse spoke to a dealer in Montreal who stated that they are taking affected TDI models in on trade and offering the discount. However, the discount is being offered as a “loyalty discount” to all TDI owners, and a trade-in is not required.

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By on October 2, 2015

German transportation authorities said Friday that Volkswagen can’t phone a friend for help, they’re on their own.

“At this point we have no indication of other manufacturers being involved,” a government spokesman, said according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).

Being the only automaker embroiled in the scandal — for now — means that Volkswagen will have to face alone the wrath from governments tripping over themselves to charge the automaker with just about anything they want. In the U.S., Volkswagen faces a pending congressional inquiry; in France, prosecutors have opened an investigation for “aggravated deception;” in Italy, the government’s antitrust authority has begun an investigation; in Switzerland — you get the idea.

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By on October 2, 2015


Audi in Germany on Friday added information to its main website so customers can determine if their car is affected by an illegal “defeat device” included in 11 million Volkswagen Group cars.

Audi owners can identify if their cars will be part of the unprecedented recall by entering the car’s VIN into the website. Audi said it would roll out a similar service in separate, worldwide markets in coming days. Audi owners can also go to dealerships to see if their cars will require recall work.

Volkswagen created a website in the U.S. this week to answer preliminary questions for its owners, including a video message by Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn.  Read More >

By on October 2, 2015


While working on a story about some very old cars, I stumbled upon something relevant to the latest big story in the automotive world.

I ran into a Model T collector who’s also a powertrain engineer for Ford. Seizing the opportunity, I asked him if he could tell me what he was working on (sometimes they say no). He said that he was responsible for developing computerized engine controls. Because of that expertise, I started to ask him some questions about the software program that Volkswagen apparently used to cheat on the EPA’s diesel emissions testing.

What he was willing to say and what he wouldn’t say intrigued me. Read More >

By on October 1, 2015


A meeting of Volkswagen executives revealed Thursday that the internal investigation into how the company produced 11 million cars with illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests will take several months, Reuters (via Automotive News) reported.

The supervisory board said in light of the ongoing investigation, the automaker would push back its scheduled meeting in November, where it was expected to name Hans Dieter Pötsch as chairman.

“In view of the time available and the matters to be considered, it would not be realistic to provide well-founded answers which would fulfill the shareholder’s justified expectations,” it said according to Reuters, adding a court would appoint Poetsch to the board, after which he would be elected chairman. Read More >

By on October 1, 2015


The head of Jaguar Land Rover’s operations in the U.S. said the automaker will stick with its plans to rollout diesel engines for its cars, including the Jaguar F-Pace next year.

Automotive News reported that CEO Joe Eberhardt said at a Detroit luncheon the automaker was “very confident” in the technology for its diesel cars.

“We are convinced of the benefits of diesels from a fuel economy and from an all-wheel drivability perspective, and that hasn’t changed,” Eberhardt said, according to Automotive News. Read More >

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