German investigators are looking into whether Volkswagen executives or engineers broke laws by lying about carbon dioxide emissions in 800,000 cars sold in Europe, the New York Times reported.
Authorities near the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg say they are focused on five Volkswagen employees, but wouldn’t identify those employees. Investigators are determining if Volkswagen employees knowingly provided false information to authorities about those cars and their emissions to qualify those cars for lower tax rates. In admitting that it lied about its emissions levels this month, Volkswagen said it would repay governments for back tax revenue lost because of the bogus claims.
This month, Volkswagen admitted it underestimated carbon dioxide output from 800,000 cars sold in Europe and said the scandal could cost the company more than $2.1 billion. According to the New York Times report, Volkswagen’s admission included a promise to repay taxes owed on owners’ cars it sold with bogus carbon dioxide numbers.
The New York Times is reporting that a loophole in emissions regulations for European cars could keep Volkswagen from paying billions to governments for illegally polluting cars. Regulators considered closing the loophole in 2011, but ultimately failed to do so, which could leave the escape hatch ever-so cracked for Volkswagen to run through.
According to the report, which cites internal meeting notes of European regulators in Geneva, automakers can send through testing cars programmed for special circumstances that daily drivers can’t access.
“A manufacturer could specify a special setting that is not normally used for everyday driving,” British regulators warned in 2011, according to the New York Times. (Read More…)
Government agencies from the United States, Canada and Germany will be testing diesel vehicles from automakers other than Volkswagen to check their compliance with emission laws.
According to The New York Times, regulators in North America “are significantly expanding their on-the-road emissions tests to cover all makes and models of diesel cars.” The same on-road tests found 3-liter V-6 diesel engines to emit more NOx than they did in EPA testing.
The EPA had already notified General Motors that its new Colorado and Canyon diesel pickups would undergo increased scrutiny.
German authorities said Wednesday that they would retest all Volkswagen cars — regardless of engine type or brand — for emissions compliance, Reuters reported.
German transportation minister Alexander Dobrindt expressed his “irritation” with the automaker that more cars were being added to the deepening scandal. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency notified the automaker that some of its 3-liter diesel models may contain an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions tests. (Read More…)
Volkswagen may discount new car purchases for diesel car owners trading in their illegally polluting cars, German news agency DPA (via Reuters) reported.
The discount would apply to older 1.6-liter models, according to the report, which would need more significant fixes than many other cars. According to Reuters, roughly 2.4 million cars in Germany are affected by the diesel scandal that has cost the automaker billions so far.
In America, more than 350,000 diesel cars would need significant fixes, according to Volkswagen of America chief Michael Horn. In the States and Canada, Volkswagen offers a “loyalty discount” to returning Volkswagen buyers. So far, the diesel discount only applies to cars in Germany.
Thomas Sedran, former interim head of Opel and General Motors’ European chief for Cadillac and Chevrolet brands, will join embattled automaker Volkswagen as head of group strategy, according to the automaker.
Sedran was head of Opel in 2012 when that automaker shuttered a plant in Bochum, Germany. Sedran was president and managing director of Cadillac and Chevrolet brands in Europe until June, when he joined global consulting firm Accenture.
According to Volkswagen, Sedran will take over Nov. 1 and report directly to new CEO Matthias Müller.
The lure of the cheap “exotic” car can be irresistible for some gearheads. Just open up eBay Motors sometime and type “project” into the search bar. Instantly, dozens of cars, old and new, are there to haunt your bargain-hunting dreams. In a quick glance, I spotted a Viper, a Z32 300ZX, and even a Local Motors Rally Fighter that can all be picked up for a fraction of the cost of a clean one.
The problem with any project, of course, is the time and money required to complete is typically underestimated, often by some unforeseen order of magnitude. Many of these “projects” will likely be listed on eBay in twenty years as “barn finds”, in basically the same state — save for entropy — as today.
Take today’s feature car, the 1987 Porsche 924S.
German transportation authority KBA on Thursday ordered the mandatory recall of 2.4 million Volkswagen cars with illegally polluting diesel engines, in part, because the German automaker’s proposed timetable wasn’t fast enough, Automotive News reported.
The forced recall will mean Volkswagen would likely spend more to fix its cars faster and German officials have told the automaker to submit a proposed fix by the end of November. Volkswagen initially planned for a voluntary recall to begin next year.
Authorities in Switzerland and Austria followed Germany and announced the forced recall would apply to those cars too, Bloomberg reported.
Daimler announced Wednesday that it would help Germany’s growing refugee crisis by offering “bridge internships” to 40 people along with German classes, transportation for aid organizations and food donations.
The company would put to work some refugees who have flooded the country to escape violence in nearby Middle Eastern countries. In all, Daimler announced it would put to work “several hundred” refugees after a 14-week course in helping them to learn the nation’s language and construction practices.
Daimler joins Audi in offering help to refugees in Germany, after that automaker announced this summer that it would donate €1 million ($1.1 million) to aid organizations.
Volkswagen offices and private residences were raided Thursday morning in Wolfsburg as part of the ongoing investigation into the company’s emission scheme that saw “defeat devices” used in its 2.0-liter diesel vehicles, reports German media outlet HAZ.
A team of approximately 50 task force personnel from the Lower Saxony’s office of criminal investigation raided multiple locations to gather evidence on those involved in the scandal.