By on October 7, 2015


Volkswagen lobbied hard in 2011 to receive the same — or higher — clean vehicle credits as electric cars, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

“They wanted a special deal for diesel cars that we now know weren’t even meeting the standard,” Margo Oge, a former director of the E.P.A. Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told the New York Times.

The LA Times reported that roughly $51 million in credits was paid by taxpayers in 2009 for diesel cars that lied about mileage and emissions — essentially a cheap bar trick.

A U.S. Senate committee is investigating possible fraud by the automaker for receiving taxpayer money for cars that spewed up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide than allowed. U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden sent a letter to the automaker Tuesday, according to Automotive News, asking how the automaker certified its car for a $1,300 credit based on mileage in 2008.

The New York Times report said Volkswagen lobbied federal authorities for higher incentives on their diesel vehicles, claiming that they were — in some cases — better than electric vehicles.

“These people had religion,” Oge told the New York Times. “And that religion was diesel. They simply did not believe in electric powertrains and thought they were a waste of time.”

Oge said that now-suspended engineer Wolfgang Hatz was particularly outspoken about the tax credits going to diesel cars. The Wall Street Journal reported that investigators have focused their attention on Hatz, who was Volkswagen’s chief engineer at the time, and Ulrich Hackenberg who was on Volkswagen’s board for development.

According to Oge, who is now a vice chairman at DeltaWing Technologies, representatives from Volkswagen in Germany were upset when authorities didn’t grant the same credits to those cars.

“I never had a problem dealing with the Americans. The U.S. Volkswagen people would always come and apologize to us after meeting with the Germans,” she told the Times. “My sense was that things were being dictated by Germany.”

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19 Comments on “Report: Volkswagen Lobbied for More Tax Credits for Diesels...”

  • avatar

    At the end of the day: it all comes down to TAXATION.

  • avatar

    Report: Sky blue, kittens super pettable today.

  • avatar

    ““These people had religion,” Oge told the New York Times. “And that religion was diesel. They simply did not believe in electric powertrains and thought they were a waste of time.””

    Oh and the greenies don’t have one?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ll give you that.

      I viewed the “zero emission” feature of my Leaf as a side benefit. Its driveability, simplicity, near-zero maintenance, and low operating costs were more interesting. But it was nice to ‘run’ it inside a closed garage without fear of dying.

      The green religion’s zealots give green a bad name – seriously. Most people wouldn’t mind polluting less if they could still drive decent cars. Even a Hellcat is a zillion times greener than its 45-year-old ancestors.

      • 0 avatar

        >> viewed the “zero emission” feature of my Leaf as a side benefit.

        I’ll second everything you said. Love electric drive-trains. The manufacturers need to start emphasizing the quiet and smoothness. I managed to hit the 20k mile mark in a year. Still no battery degradation. Made a 10 mile trip this morning on back roads and never lost a bar on the gauge.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Exactly. And I would consider my stance the diesel equivalent of yours. I love my TDI and its benefits, but wouldn’t call it gospel or the solution to everything. All things told, if I didn’t drive so much, I’d probably have an Avalon Hybrid or a Nissan Leaf. I think EV technology will become the solution for most people once battery technology evolves.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t understand? If you didn’t drive so much you’d have a Avalon Hybrid. A Camry (or Fusion) Hybrid is a better choice than a TDI if you drive a lot and want to minimize your overall cost.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve driven my parents’ Camry Hybrid some.

        It’s a perfectly fine Camry, and I can’t complain about the fuel economy.

        I don’t care about Saving The Planet (because I think they’re off-base on CO2-caused warming just like they were about “we’re out of oil!”) … but fortunately Toyota doesn’t market the non-Prius hybrids to that market.

        I look forward to a hybrid HD truck to save brake pad wear and turn 12mpg into maybe 16mpg. That’d be brilliant.

        • 0 avatar

          It will come to 1/2 tons first, specifically the F150. Ford has been working on it for a while. They originally had a joint deal with Toyota but Ford backed out when they determined that Toyota didn’t add much value and didn’t want to bear much of the cost since the volume for the Tundra is so low. I expect it by 2020 at the latest and maybe as soon at 2018.

      • 0 avatar

        Oh now don’t bring sense into this.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes I’m sure the Germans were all… Do you have a moment to talk about our dark lord Rudolf Diesel? Perhaps you would like to make a contribution to our organization in the form of some tax credits? With your contributions we can perform more great miracles of engineering.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Of course they lobbied for more credits – just as any mfr would do.

  • avatar

    As anal retentive as Winterkorn is, I have a really hard time believing he didn’t know. This guy spent four minutes discussing how Hyundai’s tilt steering wheels don’t klunk on a trade show floor.

  • avatar

    The credit was for the higher fuel mileage of the vehicles. Did they fib on that one, if anything they were too low on their estimates as TDI owners will tell you, get about 5mpg higher than estimated.

    I don;t want a car that is dead on the road when the battery goes dead, my commute exceeds every golf cart short of a Tesla.


    • 0 avatar

      No their MPG CERTIFICATION is not low it is right on when the vehicle is running in cheat mode, not the real world. Also take those reported “real world” numbers with a grain of salt. Many of the people who buy TDIs do so because their use is suited to it. Also many people who buy cars based on MPG tend to A) drive in a manner that is conducive to better MPG and B) are generous with their rounding up/report their best tank not their everyday average.

  • avatar

    Trump’s exit plan for illegals should include sending them back in TDIs.

    Sooner or later he’s going to need a serious campaign manager. Mr. Trump… I’m available.

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