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Volkswagen has Adolf Hitler to thank for its start. In 1933 Hitler asked Ferdinand Porsche (yes, that Porsche) to discuss the idea of an affordable car that could carry five people. Prototypes appeared shortly and the KdF-Wagen was released in 1938. The KdF-Wagen would later become known as the Beetle and go on to sell in the millions.
On September 9th, Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty after being indicted on a variety of crimes related to VW’s deliberate use of a software routine that cheated on government diesel emissions testing.
Until his guilty plea was entered in United States District Court in Detroit, Liang’s indictment was under seal. Now that it has been made public (full PDF version here), we know more details about VW’s cheat and it turns out that the German automaker even updated the original software cheat — apparently to work more effectively — with a patch delivered in the guise of fixing emissions related warranty claims.
As the scandal was breaking, Volkswagen also deliberately supplied government agencies with false data to make the problem appear to be the result of a mechanical malfunction, not a defeat device. Read More >
A criminal charge has been laid in the U.S. Justice Department’s probe into the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.
A Volkswagen engineer pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in a U.S. District Court in Detroit today, Reuters reports. Read More >
Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles division is eager to enter the U.S. heavy truck market, and it just found a partner to help pull it off.
Volkswagen Truck & Bus has announced it will buy a 16.6 percent stake in U.S. truck maker Navistar International Corp., a share buy worth $256 million. Both companies hope to save money (and make more of it) through the technology-sharing deal, with joint products on the horizon. Read More >
The youthful squealing could be heard down the long driveway and through several panes of glass. When I told my daughters that I’d be picking them up from the babysitter’s house in something different, they had no idea what chariot would ferry them to softball and cheerleading practice that eventing.
My girls aren’t gearheads by most definitions. While I’m not necessarily brainwashing their preteen skulls with minutiae and data about every car on the road, I’m not letting them become numb to the wonder that is the modern car. My youngest, soon to be eight, ran screaming from the door: “BEETLE!” That’s the power of an iconic brand.
However, I’m thinking the girls reacted most viscerally to the searing yellow paint.
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Faced with the option of waiting to see if their cars can be fixed or accepting a hefty cash payout, diesel Volkswagen owners are opting to take the money and run.
Once-fierce loyalty to the dirty “clean diesels” seems to have evaporated, as most owners who’ve registered for the settlement want the automaker to buy back their car, Automotive News reports. Read More >
Former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch resigned his position a month after questioning and failing to get answers from ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn about the company’s defeat devices, an internal probe revealed.
The finding from the investigation by U.S. law firm Jones Day was published in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Bloomberg reports, shedding light on the power struggle that preceded the diesel emissions scandal. Read More >
Volkswagen continues to claim that with enough time, it can figure out a way to fix 85,000 high-end diesel vehicles in the U.S. without having to buy them back. There’s a problem, though. Time is running out.
After the presiding over yesterday’s settlement deal between Volkswagen and its dealers, a U.S. District Court judge gave the automaker two months to submit a fix for its 3.0-liter TDI models, Reuters reports. Read More >
It didn’t take long for sources to squeal about the size of the settlement forged yesterday between Volkswagen and its ornery U.S. dealer network.
According to people familiar with the deal, 652 VW dealers will share about $1.2 billion to offset losses from unsold vehicles and sunk costs, Bloomberg reports. But cash is only one part of the company’s plan. The other involves its customers’ wallets. Read More >
America’s Volkswagen dealers took the brunt of the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal, but a cash payout designed to ease their troubles is on the way.
Lawyers for the dealers, who were once poised to revolt against their employer, announced a tentative settlement deal with the automaker today, Reuters reports. Read More >
Volkswagen’s long-awaited three-row SUV has appeared on a Chinese website completely free of camouflage, months ahead of its expected appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Chattanooga-built SUV, which will likely take the Teramont name, draws inspiration from the 2013 CrossBlue concept and is a big part of Volkswagen’s planned American brand revival. Read More >