Category: Law and Order

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 1, 2015


German prosecutors on Thursday said they focused too quickly on former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and removed a statement from earlier this week that they were investigating the former executive for the scandal that has engulfed the German carmaker.

In a statement by the Lower Saxony prosecutor’s office obtained by Automotive News Europe on Thursday, the office said there must be “concrete facts” before officially investigating Winterkorn. So far, no specific individuals have been named in the office’s investigation.

The stakes are high for whomever may be responsible for the 11 million cars that illegally cheated emissions tests. Volkswagen supervisory board member Olaf Lies told The Local in Germany that “those people who allowed this to happen, or who made the decision to install this software — they acted criminally. They must take personal responsibility.”

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By on September 28, 2015

Xu Winterkorn - Picture coutesy

A criminal complaint in Germany (that could have been filed by anyone) has prompted an investigation into whether former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn knew the automaker was selling cars with an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions test, Reuters reported.

Several complaints have been filed with German prosecutors, including one from within Volkswagen, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Winterkorn’s investigation may take months — or even years — as German authorities look into how widespread cheating and lying was at the automaker.

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By on September 25, 2015

Used Car Dealership NYC

Used car dealerships have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Volkswagen over cars they say they can’t sell and are seeking the same compensation the German automaker is offering its new car dealers, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).

According to the attorney representing the dealers, selling the cars could put the businesses at risk of lawsuits from their customers. If the used dealers can’t sell their in-stock Volkswagen diesels, the businesses would shoulder the losses, the lawsuit alleges. Read More >

By on September 25, 2015


A recent press release on the completion and success of a three-year program to test biofuels in Volkswagen Jetta and Passat TDI models may hint that two external companies had knowledge of the high levels of NOx produced by the “Clean Diesel” vehicles.

The two California-based companies — Solazyme and Amyris — were given the Volkswagen vehicles to test their fuels. VW announced that the program was a success a few months ago, stating CO2 emissions were reduced when using the biofuels. However, the companies only would have known their fuels produced less emissions if the biofuel companies tested the emissions output using diesel fuel and compared it with their own products.

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By on September 24, 2015


Only hours after Friday’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen that its cars were illegally polluting, David Fiol, a personal injury attorney in San Francisco, had filed a class-action lawsuit through a Seattle law firm in federal court.

He wasn’t alone either. Reuters reported that at least 25 class-action lawsuits were filed within hours of the EPA’s announcement as lawyers line up to take the lead on what could be one of the largest lawsuits against an automaker in history. Being the lead firm could be lucrative for the lead attorneys: A $2.65 billion 2006 judgement against AOL Time Warner on behalf of shareholders netted the lead firm’s owners $70 million in fees.

And according to the report, law firms don’t have to look far for clients. Many attorneys are VW TDI owners — a clear downside for having an highly educated customer base.

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By on September 17, 2015

General Motors Renaissance Center HQ

Two sources have told Reuters that the government will levy a $900 million fine on General Motors for its failure to recall and subsequent attempts to cover-up of faulty ignition switches linked to at least 124 deaths.

Criminal charges will be filed against GM for its role in hiding the defect from regulators, but will defer prosecution while the automaker complies with its penalty. The agreement is expected to be announced Thursday.

The massive fine is smaller than the $1.2 billion Toyota paid in March 2014 for its role in concealing that its cars could accelerate suddenly.   Read More >

By on September 1, 2015

Red light camera in Beaverton, Oregon

Chicago wants $300 million from the company it hired to photograph, ticket and follow drivers after it was revealed that executives bribed city officials for the contract, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

Executives for Redflex paid over $2 million to city officials through a bag man for the $124 million contract from the city, which started in 2003. City officials are suing for roughly triple that amount, including penalties.

Redflex has been accused of handing out thousands of unnecessary tickets to motorists, including 13,000 in Chicago alone, according to the Tribune.  Read More >

By on August 19, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.40.43 PM

Strippers who are peeved about Saskatoon’s recent law banning peeling in bars held a charity car wash Aug. 16 to benefit breast cancer — and protest the new law — CTV is reporting.

Dancers from the Pink Champagne Girls company say a court reversal of a law that allowed them to strip down to their underwear in March is hurting their business. The company said it raised $600 for charity from the car wash.

“It’s kind of a boobs-for-boobs thing. We thought it would fit in nicely,” Emily Kempin, owner of the Pink Champagne Girls, told CBC.

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By on August 19, 2015

11148391_831329456914578_5738881572921097558_oPolice in North Carolina are looking for Ronnie Pollard, who appeared in the Discovery Channel’s series “Street Outlaws,” in connection with an engine theft, WGHP is reporting.

According to investigators, Pollard may have been involved with a June robbery in King, North Carolina where thieves made off with nearly $450,000 in engines and caused $14,000 in damage to Buck Racing Engine’s shop.

“The Discovery Channel should have done a little better job checking people out,” shop owner Charlie Buck told the news station. “It’s just hard to believe that somebody like that’s been on TV, and then they break in and steal stuff from you.”

According to the shop, donations for reward money have flooded the shop, and investigators and the shop are offering more than $22,000 for information about the missing engines.

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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