By on January 13, 2017

800px-wolfsburg_vw-werk

After a Volkswagen official was collared in Miami while on vacation, other top company officials have been warned to stay close to home.

Oliver Schmidt, who allegedly lied to environmental regulators to cover up VW’s emissions cheating, was arrested by FBI agents Saturday while returning home from a Cuban holiday. According to Reuters, Schmidt, one of six former or current VW managers indicted on multiple charges this week, could face up to 169 years in a U.S. prison if found guilty.

After the FBI’s lucky airport break, a new report suggests top brass in Wolfsburg are feeling penned in. Kiss that winter vacay goodbye. (Read More…)

By on January 11, 2017

Volkswagen TDI

The United States has now laid charges against six former or current Volkswagen officials for their role in the diesel emissions scandal.

A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Michigan returned an indictment today, fingering the execs for playing key roles in a decade-long conspiracy to deceive the U.S. government and public. While five of the men live in Germany, one man — Oliver Schmidt, former head of VW’s regulatory compliance department — was nabbed by the FBI in a Miami airport on Saturday while attempting to return to Germany.

As the charges were handed down, the embattled automaker pleaded guilty to three criminal federal counts and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2017

lawsuit

The first person sentenced in the sprawling Volkswagen emissions scandal is headed to jail in South Korea, but the man who helped design the defeat smog-spewing engines will have to wait for his punishment.

Reuters reports an executive of VW’s South Korean division was handed a sentence of one year, six months today for his side-role in the diesel deception. Meanwhile, a German engineer who was the first employee charged in the scandal will cool his heels a little while longer.

It seems he’s just too useful. (Read More…)

By on January 5, 2017

kennedy_expressway_and_metra

There’s no shortage of ink spilled about the sky-high murder rate in Chicago, but the Windy City’s most overlooked crime scene isn’t a particular neighborhood or address. It’s the freeway.

In a year where Chicago homicides hit a 20-year high (762, up 57 percent from 2015), shootings on the city’s freeways topped all previous tallies. The city blames the increasing roadway bloodshed on rising gang violence, but the danger to motorists seems likely to rise if authorities can’t figure out a way to stamp out the problem. (Read More…)

By on December 29, 2016

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Guam, besides having the highest per-capita Spam consumption in the world (16 tins per person, on average), is also home to a recently uncovered fraud scheme that placed high-end vehicles in the driveways of island residents.

On paper, anyway. The unsuspecting residents — over 50 of them, authorities say — had no idea their names were placed next to luxury SUV registrations in the Department of Motor Vehicles database. (Read More…)

By on December 16, 2016

Jetta TDI 2015

Have you ever bought a secondhand car, only to find the previous owner forgot his or her favorite CD in the stereo? Well, that didn’t happen to a Kentucky man.

That Volkswagen owner’s discovery is just one of the weird news stories arising from a polar vortex-plagued world. Elsewhere, officials warn of mammal tongue baths, and a politician practices bad automotive PR. (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2016

6-speed manual transmission
Because we haven’t yet adopted a Utopian work calendar, it’s now the day before the weekend and time for some unusual automotive news.

While there hasn’t been any reports of people or cars being crushed by colorful fall foliage, Mother Nature has been a bad girl, as animals are conspiring to destroy our vehicles through theft or by making a very distracting corpse. Meanwhile, a shrinking number of vehicles are coming from the factory with the best anti-carjacking device ever made. (Read More…)

By on October 20, 2016

gun

Not all car owners carry a gun, but most gun owners still use cars to get around. If you happen to have both, you may want to reconsider what you do with one when you park the other — especially depending on where you live.

Compared to your home, cars are much easier for thieves to gain access and they are infinitely easier to steal. When your car is stolen, everything inside goes with it. The Trace, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to expanding coverage of gun violence in the United States, recently reported on a study showing the number of firearms stolen from vehicles and what cities have it the worst. (Read More…)

By on September 16, 2016

werie

An Erie, Pennsylvania Buick-GMC dealer, its owner and general manager, and another man were indicted this week for wire fraud over a bogus loan application scheme.

A U.S. District Court handed down the indictment on Tuesday, Automotive News reports, with court documents alleging the three men submitted fake car loan applications through “straw individuals.” (Read More…)

By on September 7, 2016

4-sept-frypan-wheel-adelaide

Anything that happens in Australia is already sort of funny, because we all remember the Simpsons episode where the Aussie locals play knifey-spoony and Homer salutes the toilet.

Well, from the land of Midnight Oil, Nicole Kidman and the defunct Ford Falcon Ute comes this story, thanks to Jalopnik, the South Australia Police, and a man who wouldn’t let a missing steering wheel end his motoring dreams. (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

Winterkorn, Piech, Piech - Picture courtesy Volkswagen

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…)

By on August 25, 2016

2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate

It’s the latest in a string of similar nighttime thefts, but it’s not surprising — after all, when four hours’ work can net you hundreds of thousands of bucks, who expects thieves to stop?

This past weekend, the inventory of a General Motors dealer lot in Tyler, Texas was left up on blocks after thieves stripped 48 vehicles of their wheels, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

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