Category: Germany

By on April 27, 2016

TDI Clean Diesel

If you want your nefarious plan to stay on the down low, try not to make a PowerPoint presentation on it.

That’s an obvious takeaway from the New York Times report that details a bombshell discovery made by investigators probing documents and laptops related to Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. Read More >

By on April 26, 2016

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

It just posted its largest loss ever and is up to its eyebrows in scandal-related expenses, so what’s an automaker to do when the hands come out asking for more?

That’s the situation in Wolfsburg, Germany, where the scandal-rocked Volkswagen and its workers’ labor union find themselves engaged in an uncomfortable dance, according to Automotive News Europe.

The union, IG Metall, says the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal is no excuse for holding back raises to its 120,000 staff members, and Volkswagen says, “What? Sorry, can’t hear you — we’re driving into a tunnel…call back later.” Read More >

By on April 25, 2016

2015-Volkswagen-Golf-SportWagen-09

After Volkswagen announced last week that it would cut dividends by 97 percent due to the financial fallout of the diesel emissions scandal, there’s a ray of light for those who have shares in the company’s owner.

Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the investment vehicle of Volkswagen AG’s ultra-wealthy owner family, said it will front the cash to allow shareholders a bigger return, according to Bloomberg. Read More >

By on April 22, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Golf family, Image: Volkswagen of America

The heavy financial cost of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal is becoming clear.

After reaching a settlement yesterday with U.S. consumers and regulators, the automaker is more than doubling the size of its “make the problem go away” cash pile, Bloomberg is reporting.

Volkswagen set aside 16.2 billion euros ($18.6 billion) today to deal with the scandal’s fallout, up from the 6.7 billion euro ($7.6 billion) figure previously stated.  Read More >

By on April 22, 2016

Volkswagen Passats being crushed after testing, Image Source: BentParrot/YouTube

Update: I made a decimal flub. The math is corrected. Thanks to commenter ChemEng for pointing it out. We’ll post a new piece on Monday.

There’s no denying it: Volkswagen cheated. It confessed to the crime of emitting up to 40 times over the legal limit allowed for NOx. We learned yesterday (and the day before, to some degree), that Volkswagen will fix the vehicles that can be fixed, if owners so choose.

But what happens to all those diesel cars, which are perfectly good aside from emitting more NOx than they should, if owners decide to cut and run? And what happens to all those vehicles that can’t be fixed? Volkswagen has vowed to buy them back from customers — to which I ask, what then?

There are few options Volkswagen can employ to unload the massive windfall of cars coming its way, and none of them are particularly environmentally friendly.

Read More >

By on April 18, 2016

2017-Audi-R8-V10-Plus-10

Despite sharing the comfort of a corporate umbrella, it seems that two standoffish German luxury makes are now pushing the beds together.

According to the German publication Autobild (via Autoguide), Audi is tapping Porsche’s expertise to develop a new performance vehicle, designed to occupy the vast gap between the TT and R8 supercar. Read More >

By on April 15, 2016

Nazi Volkswagen decal

Volkswagen gets a lot of unflattering press these days, but a faction of the automaker’s fan base seems determined to malign its name even more.

A disturbing subculture exists on the fringes of the Volkswagen fanboy community, and it manifests itself in decals and not-so-subtle window stickers that feature Nazi imagery.

Most normal, reasonable people would want to avoid associating themselves with a man who can claim responsibility for causing the deaths of about 70 million people, but there’s weirdos out there, and some of them are really keen on their Volkswagens. Frankly, it’s as depressing as the atmosphere inside the Fuhrerbunker, circa early May, 1945. Read More >

By on April 11, 2016

Matthias Müller

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller is expected to cave to shareholder and labor pressure today and ask that his management board agree to trim their bonuses by 30 percent, insider sources have told Reuters.

Will it satisfy dealers and vehicle owners stuck with depreciated rolling stock? Not. Bloody. Likely.

The request, if it comes to pass, comes after workers unions and the state of Lower Saxony (Volkswagen’s home and its second-largest shareholder) protested the idea of senior management receiving full compensation while the diesel emissions scandal continues to rage.

Read More >

By on April 8, 2016

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, has been hit with a second lawsuit from a U.S. law firm that represents owners of diesel vehicles, despite recent evidence that could render the suit invalid.

The suit from now-familiar firm Hagens Berman accuses the German automaker of employing an emissions “defeat device,” a la Volkswagen, in its diesel vehicles, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).

The suit alleges the device must be the cause of laboratory emissions test results that show higher nitrogen oxide emissions than during real-world tests.

Read More >

By on April 7, 2016

Volkswagen TDI

Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess has a target on his back, now that the union representing the automaker’s workers has made its distrust of the company public.

Labor union IG Metall slammed the company’s management in a letter published on its website, stating the company was using the diesel emissions scandal as a way of cutting staff, according to Bloomberg.

The union said it wants assurances from Volkswagen brass that layoffs aren’t coming down the pipe, and implied that Diess’ job is in danger if he doesn’t agree to protect employee positions.

Read More >

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