By on October 18, 2015

Volkswagen TDI

On Friday, September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen that its cars violated clean air standards by incorporating a “defeat device” that used engine management controls to cheat emissions tests.

Since the EPA’s letter to VW, and subsequent order to recall nearly 482,000 Volkswagen cars, the scandal has deepened and developed with Volkswagen shedding billions in value in markets worldwide, halting sales of its cars in the U.S. and Canada, shuffling executives to other seats or out the door entirely, and other regulatory agencies jumping in to investigate.

Here’s a roundup of the stories so far.

September 18

news-2016-audi-a3-sportback-tdi-exterior-02EPA Recalling Volkswagens, Audis for Bogus Emissions Tests
The EPA took the rare step of recalling more than 500,000 Volkswagen and Audi cars for using a “defeat device” to force the cars to comply with emissions.

September 19

tdiengineConsumer Reports Strips ‘Recommended’ Rating From VW TDIs
Consumer Reports stripped the Passat TDI and Jetta TDI models of its “recommended” rating until recall work is complete.

September 21

Audi-A3-TDI-Sportback-01Volkswagen’s Diesel Cars Have Been Sitting at U.S. Ports for Months
Some U.S. customers waited for their new cars for months without an explanation from Volkswagen, Audi or the EPA.

01 vw badgeBillions Erased From Volkswagen’s Value in Stock Slide
More than $17 billion has been erased Monday from VW’s value in as the company awaits more fallout from news that the company cheated emissions tests.

01 Volkswagen JettaVW, Audi in Canada Halting Sales of TDI Cars Following US Inquiry
Volkswagen in Canada will suspend sales of its Volkswagen Passat, Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3 cars.

department-of-justiceVolkswagen Facing Criminal Charges in Emissions Probe
The investigation that Volkswagen installed illegal “defeat devices” on its cars to cheat emissions tests will reach the U.S. Department of Justice.

September 22

tdi7Volkswagen Sets Aside €6.5 Billion to Cover 11 Million Vehicles with Cheating Emissions Software
The automaker has admitted the emissions software has been used on 11 million vehicles sold worldwide.

Bobby thumbed a diesel down. Picture courtesy trucktrend.comEPA Expands Emissions Investigation to Volkswagen 3.0-Liter V6 Diesels
The larger diesel mill is used in the Touareg, Audi A6/A7/A8/Q7, and Porsche Cayenne.

porsche-ceo-matthias-mullerWinterkorn To Be Replaced By Porsche CEO Matthias Müller on Friday
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn will be replaced at the end of the week by Porsche CEO Matthias Müller, reports Der Tagesspiegel.

Michael Horn 51nbsp President und CEO der Volkswagen Group of America ab 1 Januar 2014VW US Chief: ‘We Have Totally Screwed Up’
“Our company was dishonest with the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board and with all of you. And in my German words: We have totally screwed up.”


2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (1 of 8)Here’s What It Might Cost to Fix Every 2.0 TDI Volkswagen
The presumed fix would come by retrofitting a Selective Catalytic Reduction (Adblue or urea) system although that wouldn’t be the only fix necessary.

tdiengineVolkswagen Emissions Fix May Not Last Long Thanks to Aftermarket Tuners
The aftermarket community has provided modifications for the DPF and Adblue systems in the past, meaning there’s good chance they’ll provide parts and tuning to revert any changes Volkswagen may implement on the affected models.

Volkswagen WolfsburgVolkswagen May Offer More Cash to Dealers As It Skids Completely Out of Control
Amid slumping sales and a snowballing diesel-emissions crisis, Volkswagen announced Monday a plan to offer more money to dealers for cars that they can sell

Mark Rosekind Circa December 2014NHTSA Chief: VW’s Cheating Hurts ‘Public Confidence’ in Industry
Mark Rosekind says deception like VW’s admission that they cheated on emissions tests erodes confidence in car buyers.

September 23

Volkswagen WolfsburgVolkswagen Board Holding Emergency Meeting Ahead of Planned Friday Conference
Five senior members of Volkswagen’s supervisory board are meeting to discuss the future for the automaker and its CEO.

Der neue Volkswagen Passat (USA Version)Volkswagen of America Was in Very Rough Shape Before the Emissions Scandal
The diesel emissions scandal isn’t tarnishing a good situation. It’s making a bad situation much, much worse.

Martin Winterkorn in Shanghai - Picture courtesy Bertel SchmittVW Chief Resigns After Emissions Scandal
Winterkorn resigned five days after it was announced that 482,000 Volkswagens in the U.S. had illegal “defeat devices” that allowed them to cheat through emissions tests.

009-vw-chattanooga-optVW Supervisory Board: Heads Will Continue to Roll
As part of now-former CEO Martin Winterkorn’s resignation, the Executive Committee of Volkswagen AG’s Supervisory Board has also issued a statement.

tdiengineAfter the NOx Particulates Settle, Everyone Loses
A few things are going to happen. None of it will be pretty. Nobody is going to walk away from this without oily blowback on their faces.

September 24


Tech Dive: How the Chevy Cruze Diesel Stays Clean
While General Motors may have some explaining to do for the 1.6-liter diesel in Europe, the 2.0-liter may actually be as clean as it promises.


Volkswagen Powertrain, Technical Development Personnel Next To Get The Axe?
Next personnel to be shown the door could have been integral to powertrain development during the time when vehicles were fitted with “defeat devices”.

2015-Audi-A3-TDI-Sportback-5Lawyers Quicker Off The Line To Sue Volkswagen Than Broken TDIs
Hours after the EPA notified Volkswagen of its violation, class action suits were being filed on behalf of owners in federal courts across the country.

EPA headquarters

Feds Say They’ll Tighten Emissions Tests to Catch Cheaters
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency said they’ll change regulations to hopefully catch carmakers who cheat on emissions tests in the future.


Škoda CEO Tipped to Take Over Volkswagen US, Horn Out
The Chairman of the Board of Management for Škoda, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland, is expected to replace Michael Horn as CEO of Volkswagen of America.



Dirty Diesel Report Sinking BMW As Volkswagen Fallout Grows
German magazine Auto Bild reported Thursday that the diesel BMW X3 exceeded by 11 times allowable limits of nitrogen oxide in Europe.

Winterkorn on a pure plugin. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Don’t Cry For Winterkorn Just Yet; Former CEO Could Get $67M Handshake
Ousted Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn could receive up to $67 million after leaving the automaker this week, depending on how his exit pay is calculated

matthias_mullerReport: Matthias Müller to Take Over Volkswagen
The 62-year-old head of Porsche will be seen as a CEO that is friendly to rank-and-file workers at Volkswagen.

September 25


Biofuel Makers May Have Known About Volkswagen Emissions Rigging for Years
The two California-based companies were given the Volkswagen vehicles to test their biofuels.

golf_tdi_sets_guinness_world_records_achievement__5069QOTD: How Much Do People Really Care About Emissions?
I ask this because I’ve read a huge number of forum posts, comment replies, Tweets, and Facebook statuses from Volkswagen TDI owners over the past few days.

Used Car Dealership NYCUsed Car Dealers Line Up Against Volkswagen
A proposed class action lawsuit filed against Volkswagen alleges that used car dealerships could be on the hook for thousands of unsaleable cars.

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

This is Why Volkswagen Won’t Pay $18 Billion
According to the EPA’s own penalty worksheet, Volkswagen could end up paying about $3.15 billion more than Hyundai and Kia.


Matthias Müller Will Take Over At Volkswagen, Vahland Becomes Horn’s Boss
Making official what we’ve heard for a while, Porsche CEO Matthias Müller will take the reigns at Volkswagen.

BMW 650i Grand Coupe

Automakers’ Denials of Cheating Actually Faster Than Many of Their Cars
This week, automakers around the world issued statements that their diesel cars and how they definitely don’t cheat like someone else you may’ve heard of.

"Vehicles are piled on top of each other in rows as they wait to be pulverized and shredded for recycling at Rifkin Scrap Iron and Metal Co. on North Niagara in Saginaw , Mich. on Friday, July 31, 2009.  Far more drivers signed up for the "cash for clunkers" program than anyone thought, overwhelming showrooms, blowing through the initial $1 billion set aside by Congress and leaving dealers panicked over when or if the government would make good on the hefty rebates." (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Chris Fryer) Report: Taxpayers Paid $20.7 Million For ‘Clunker’ Volkswagen Diesels
A report by Yahoo Autos shows that U.S. taxpayers may have shelled out more than $20 million for VW diesel cars that cheated through emissions tests.

September 26

VW West Distribution Circa 2009Swiss Officials Issue Temporary Volkswagen Diesel Sales Ban
Volkswagen’s pain parade marches on, this time to Switzerland, which has temporarily banned sales of the automaker’s diesels.

Red Bull RingPossible Volkswagen-Red Bull F1 Engine Deal ‘Up In Smoke’
Red Bull’s F1 team is the latest victim of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, as a possible deal between the team and the automaker has gone “up in smoke.”

September 27

Volkswagen CrossBlue ConceptVolkswagen Warned About Cheating As Early As 2007
While the EPA recently revealed Volkswagen’s diesels were cheating emissions tests, two newspapers learned VW was warned about cheating as early as 2007.

“Party” with Volkswagen App Connect.   YouTubeVolkswagen of America Temporarily Reins In Adverts Amid Diesel Scandal
If, while watching your team crush it this weekend, you see few Volkswagen ads, you’re not alone; VW of America is reigning in advertising for two weeks.

Volkswagen Eos at University Volkswagen Circa August 2015

Discount Hunters Find Silver Lining In Volkswagen’s Diesel Clouds
While some declare Volkswagen dead in their betrayed hearts over the recent emissions scandal, others see an opportunity for a discount on a diesel.

September 28


Audi: More Than 2 Million Cars Worldwide Have Illegal Software
Audi said that 2.1 million of its cars worldwide have been fitted with illegal software to help it cheat emissions tests.

Xu Winterkorn - Picture coutesy Prosecutors Investigating VW’s Former Chief Winterkorn
German investigators are looking into whether former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn knew the automaker was selling cars with an illegal “defeat device.”

Passat TDI  engine, Picture Courtesy of Volkswagen

Report: Supplier Warned VW About Illegal Device in 2007
Bosch engineers told Volkswagen engineers in 2007 that software it had installed on cars for testing, which made it into road cars, was illegal.


European Group Says Pretty Much Everyone is Lying About Efficiency
An environmental group in Europe is saying most of the world’s automakers are misreporting emissions and fuel economy on tests.

September 29

Volkswagen WolfsburgVolkswagen Will Recall, ‘Refit’ 11 Million Cars in Coming Days
New Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller says the company has a plan to “refit” more than 11 million cars with illegal emissions cheating software.


Musk: Volkswagen’s ‘Trickery’ May Have Been Only Option
Tesla CEO Elon Musk told reporters that advancing internal combustion engines is harder and that Volkswagen engineers may have lied out of necessity.

Passat TDI  engine, Picture Courtesy of VolkswagenReport: VW’s Dirty Diesels May Have Caused Up to 100 Deaths
A report by the New York Times estimates that Volkswagen may have contributed to more than 100 premature deaths in the U.S.

2016-Chevrolet-Colorado-Duramax-TurboDiesel-059Diesel GM Canyon/Colorado Twins First to Feel EPA’s Wrath
The diesel versions of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon will be the first to undergo increased scrutiny from the EPA on their emissions.

September 30

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 7.33.05 AMPortlandian Plants “Nazi” Note On Dirty Diesel VW
“Hello, VW TDI owner. While cute, your TDI is outfitted with a cheating device meant to elude emission standards.”


Bark’s Bites: Dieselgate is Deja Vu All Over Again
I have a feeling that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of the dirty pool that Volkswagen played in this scandal.


Oliver BlumePorsche’s New CEO Oliver Blume is a Company Man
The successor to Matthias Müller has been with Volkswagen AG for more than 20 years and has been head of production at Porsche and SEAT.

Are those tall buildings or are you just happy to see a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta [sportwagon]? (courtesy Car Journal Strips Volkswagen, Audi of Awards
Green Car Journal announced that they would rescind two awards given to vehicles that are now part of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions debacle.

October 1


German Prosecutors Backtrack on Winterkorn Focus for Investigation
German prosecutors Thursday said they focused too quickly on former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn for the scandal that has engulfed the German carmaker.


Volkswagen WolfsburgVolkswagen Finds Hatches, Battens Them, and Braces for Massive Business Storm
The German automaker is preparing for a hit to its business by freezing hiring and cutting a shift at one of its engine plants.

Jim Ellis VW

Hammer Time: How Can Volkswagen Save Themselves?
What does it mean when a branded dealer pulls all its brand’s cars from the front line? Trouble — and lots of it.


FCA Wins, Volkswagen Loses in Average New Car Price During September
Nearly every automaker posted gains in average new car price paid in September 2015. The average new car cost $33,730.

02 Volkswagen Golf familyVolkswagen Planning Capital Push to Raise Money For Scandal
The German automaker may cut costs and boost cash flow before resorting to offering parts of the company to outside investors.

2015-Volkswagen-Golf-SportWagen-09Report: Volkswagen Investigation May Take Months
The VW investigation into how the company produced 11 million cars with illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests will take several months.


October 2

GM-Emissions-LabDid Other OEMs Know Volkswagen Was Cheating?
When I asked the Ford engine control engineer if he knew Volkswagen was cheating, that’s when it got interesting. He didn’t say no.

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDIDid Volkswagen USA Sales Really Increase In September? Sort Of
Monthly sales may have increased for Volkswagen’s American unit, but digging into the numbers tells a very different story.

Audi-A3-TDI-Sportback-01Audi Germany Creates Website to Identify Illegal Diesel Cars
Audi in Germany on Friday added information to its main website so customers can determine if their car is affected by an illegal “defeat device”.

BMW X3German Authorities Say Volkswagen Was Alone in Cheating
German transportation authorities said Friday that Volkswagen can’t phone a friend for help, they’re on their own.

vwccVolkswagen Canada Offering $2,000 Discount to TDI Owners to Buy Literally Any VW [Update]
Volkswagen Canada is offering a $2,000 incentive for current TDI owners, regardless of the age of the car or type of TDI engine, toward any other new Volkswagen model.

October 3

Der neue Volkswagen XL1/XL1 ? Drive Luzern nach GenfVolkswagen May Cut R&D Budget to Fend Off “Existence-Threatening Crisis”
Volkswagen’s incoming chairman said the emissions scandal is “a threat to the firm’s viability albeit a surmountable one,” reports Reuters.


TFLCar’s Jetta Dyno Test Doesn’t Show Us “Test Mode”
While I applaud the idea of finding an affected car and trying to generate real-world test results, the tests shown do not correlate to an actual EPA test.

October 4

2014-mazda-6-skyactiv-d-22-liter-inline-4-diesel-engine-photo-478625-s-1280x782UK Researcher: Basically Every Diesel Automaker is Illegally Polluting
A researcher from Leeds University says that at least four other automakers’ cars are polluting above the legal limits for Europe.

October 5

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInterbrand: Toyota Most Valuable Car Brand, Volkswagen Sinks
Interbrand’s annual survey of Top 100 Brands lists Toyota as the most valuable car company with BMW and Mercedes-Benz the next most-valuable brands.

01 Volkswagen JettaVolkswagen Hasn’t Found Their Fall Guys (or Gals) Yet
According to Reuters, Volkswagen may have suspended engineers — including top engineers for Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche — without any evidence.

October 6

porsche-ceo-matthias-mullerVolkswagen CEO Müller Tells Employees That Future Won’t Be ‘Painless’
Speaking to 20,000 Volkswagen workers, CEO Matthias Müller said the company would make “massive cutbacks” to pay for diesel crisis.

2015 Volkswagen eGolf Exterior-0051Volkswagen Says EVs ‘Key Part’ of Its Future (If History Doesn’t Repeat Itself)
Volkswagen could be looking for ways to not repeat history, when a 1960s lawsuit crippled development well into the 1980s.

October 7

golf_tdi_sets_guinness_world_records_achievement__5070Report: Volkswagen Lobbied for More Tax Credits for Diesels
Volkswagen lobbied hard in 2011 to receive the same — or higher — clean vehicle credits as electric cars

Dieter PoetschVolkswagen’s Board Confirms New Chairman, Wishes Him Good Luck on Difficult First Day
Volkswagen’s supervisory board confirmed its appointment of Hans Dieter Pötsch to its top seat during a scandal rocking the 78-year-old automaker, the company announced.

porsche-ceo-matthias-mullerMüller: Volkswagen Recalling European Cars Starting in January
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller told German authorities that the company would begin recalling cars in Europe in January and that fixes those cars take roughly one year to complete

October 8

BMW X3Bosch Didn’t Supply Cheating Software on Dirty Diesels
A former federal official and the Environmental Protection Agency said that German supplier Bosch didn’t supply Volkswagen — or other automakers — with cheating software, implying that Volkswagen engineers acted alone in deceiving emission tests

Michael Horn testifyingVolkswagen of America CEO Horn: We Need to ‘Bloody Learn’ to Get Act Together
“I would like to offer a sincere apology for Volkswagen’s use of a software program that served to defeat the regular emissions testing regime,” Horn said in a prepared response before answering questions from representatives.

Werk Wolfsburg - Picture courtesy VolkswagenInvestigators Raid Volkswagen Offices, Private Residences in Germany
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

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 8.16.34 AMEverything Is Going Well Over In Europe (Video)
Meanwhile, over in the EU, no one appears to have lost their minds over the Volkswagen scandal. Not at all. Totally sane.

Michael HornVolkswagen in America CEO Had More Than One Year To Deal With Cheating Diesels
In a prepared statement released ahead of congressional testimony Thursday, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn said the automaker knew of emissions issues last spring when West Virginia University researchers published findings that the automaker’s cars were illegally polluting.

October 9

Michael HornVolkswagen’s Withdrawal of EPA Application Is Not Because of ‘Defeat Device’
During his voluntary testimony for a congressional committee Thursday, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn announced the company would withdraw their application for emissions certification for 2016 model year Volkswagens powered by 2-liter diesel engines.

Volkswagen crossblue interiorVolkswagen’s 800,000 Sales Goal in US by 2018 is Definitely Toast
Volkswagen wanted to sell 800,000 cars in America in 2018? In 2015, Volkswagen will only sell 350,000 if they’re struck by dumb luck, a stroke of serendipitous karma, and the kind of fortuitous bounce that would make Bubba Watson blush.

2016 Volkswagen JettaMeeting Advertised Mileage Could Save Volkswagen Money
Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn told a congressional committee that the fixed diesel cars would achieve the fuel economy figures advertised on the cars when they were purchased as new.

2013-volkswagen-lineupVolkswagen Spends Its Money On The Wrong Things
Volkswagen is the car company equivalent to the guy who earns $200,000 per year and still manages to fall behind on his mortgage payments. And here’s why I say that.

October 12

01 vw badgeVolkswagen Debt Downgraded; Company Asking For Supplier Help
Standard & Poor’s downgraded Volkswagen’s rating on long-term debt and said the company’s diesel scandal indicates poor management. The financial agency further warned that its debt rating could be cut further if the automaker doesn’t immediately address the deepening scandal

2013-volkswagen-lineupReport: Volkswagen’s Reported Death and Injury Claims May Be Too Low
Volkswagen’s rate of injury or fatal crashes reported by the automaker was significantly lower than 11 other automakers and nine times less than the industry average.

VW_7246Volkswagens in The UK Won’t Get Same Fixes as US Cars
Volkswagen’s chief in the United Kingdom told representatives that cars in that country likely wouldn’t need expensive urea tanks retrofitted to those cars to comply with emissions standards.

October 13

2016_passat_5398VW Chattanooga Building Hundreds of Passat TDIs Without Front Fascias
Volkswagen is ramping up production of the new Passat TDI despite not being certified by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its emissions.

Volkswagen PhaetonNo More LNTs for Volkswagen Diesels; Phaeton Goes All-electric
Volkswagen in Germany announced Tuesday that its diesel cars on sale in Europe and the U.S. would be fitted with an emissions-scrubbing urea tank instead of a lean nitrogen-oxide trap and the automaker would develop further its all-electric vehicles, starting with the Phaeton.

October 14

Matthias_Müller_2015-03-12_002Report: Volkswagen Scandal Involved At Least 30 Managers, Not ‘Small Group’
At least 30 Volkswagen insiders and managers had knowledge of the illegal “defeat device” and there may be more.

2014-vahlandNew Volkswagen NA Boss Quits Before Taking Position
Chairman of Škoda Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland, who was tapped to lead a new North American Volkswagen region, will be leaving the Volkswagen Group.


October 15

maxresdefault1Total Recall: Volkswagen Group Will Fix 8.5M Vehicles in EU
Volkswagen Group will recall 8.5 million vehicles in the European Union’s 28 member states, including the 2.4 million vehicles it is already being forced to recall by the KBA, Germany’s transportation authority, the automaker announced.

maxresdefaultFTC Looking into Volkswagen’s ‘Clean Diesel’ Claims Now
The Federal Trade Commission will join the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency in investigating claims that Volkswagen cheated consumers and regulators with bogus emissions claims of its diesel cars.

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDIGermany Orders Volkswagen to Fix Dirty Diesels Faster
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.

October 16

Dr. Christine Hohmann-DennhardtDaimler Trades Legal Chief To Volkswagen For Player to be Named Later
Volkswagen announced that Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt would join the embattled automaker from a similar post at Daimler after receiving approval from that automaker’s board of directors.


October 18

01 vw badgeColumnist: ‘Normalization of Deviance’ Led to Volkswagen Cheating
“Normalization of deviance” could have led Volkswagen engineers to systemically cheat on emissions in the same way engineers rationalized colder and colder launches for the space shuttle until it finally disintegrated in 1986 because of failed, cold o-rings.

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43 Comments on “The Volkswagen Diesel Saga So Far...”

  • avatar

    wow TTAC should all go buy a VW as a thank you for the stories and traffic to this site. I am sure the numbers are looking up.

    • 0 avatar

      *insert image of Monty Burns tapping his fingers together while uttering “Excellent” over and over*

      • 0 avatar

        When I think of this fiasco, I’m thinking of a much older media image: Sgt. Schultz from the old “Hogan’s Heroes” TV show declaring, “I know nothing!

        I do wonder how VW managed to keep this under wraps for so long, there had to be many VW staffers that knew. If VW were a US based company, I’m thinking the RICO law would apply.

        • 0 avatar
          johnny ro

          That is funny and a happy old remembrance. Unfortunately it was American TV. There is no more persuasive discredit available than that.

          The Germans know how to find things out, modern political correct laws aside. They will punch through this and piece it together. Its a national risk over there.

          • 0 avatar

            You cant say “I Know nothing”… its “I KNOW NUZZINGGGG!!!”

            Its ok to make fun of germans since they are the defacto rulers of the United State of Europe.

            I welcome this VW coverage. I mean remember how people complained about GM deathwatch.

            Its only fair. Also people hate VW where I am. HATE.

    • 0 avatar

      Seriously, this story is a god-send to any auto news site. I mean, what in the world would they be reporting on if this didn’t happen?

      This horse has been beaten to death, burned, then the bones dug out of the ashes and beaten some more…. I for one can’t wait until the next thing comes around that I’m supposed to be outraged by.

    • 0 avatar

      The clicks may be up, but there is really no new news. So readers click somewhere else for a cat video.

      The VW story at TTAC is like a missing white girl story on CNN: endless repetition of the few available facts relating to a story of marginal interest to most people.

  • avatar

    You left out one article:

  • avatar

    This whole saga rather reminds me of my sneaky old employer (a really large German chemical company). They were caught suppressing studies showing one of their very lucrative products was no more effective than other less-costly products. $98m fine levied in US Federal Court when they were caught. Then, two years later, they were caught in a violation of US laws (a really big price-fixing scandal) by their own company lawyer – the board-level folks just moved their nefarious dealings to their private mansions and continued on unabated until one of their price-fixing partner companies got cold feet and ratted everyone out. $225m fine levied. Knowing the mind-set and home-market culture of my old Deutscher-Volk corporate leadership I can’t help believing that most everyone at very high levels at VAG knew what was going on. If it were only half a million vehicles exported to a very small market, maybe. But 11 million vehicles (a large percentage of production for 6 years), nah. They knew.

  • avatar

    I was thinking to myself as this story rolled out, I sure wish Bertel hadn’t burned every bridge known to man upon leaving here and I could read a piece on his thoughts. I mean, this is right up his alley.

    Then I found this:

    Upon reading I was reminded how this place is better off without him.

    • 0 avatar

      In this case Bertel’s article is 10-40 times better than any of the article posted here so far. No unfounded speculation on how VW could fix it, buy backs, and other BS just a nice description of what VW did to cheat the test. Yes there is speculation that others are doing it too.

      • 0 avatar

        The uncanny thing is that the EPA was informed about the failures 1.5 years ago, at least according to the group that actually discovered it.

        Why the lag, especially if the extra pollution is so harmful?

        • 0 avatar

          “Why the lag, especially if the extra pollution is so harmful?”

          It sounds like they were pretty quick to notify VW and give them a chance to fix it. There was an emissions-related recall at the end of 2014. When the ‘repaired’ vehicles still didn’t pass, the EPA gave them another chance or two. Finally they said they wouldn’t certify 2016 TDIs for sale in the US, and shortly after that VW admitted to cheating.

        • 0 avatar

          “The uncanny thing is that the EPA was informed about the failures 1.5 years ago, at least according to the group that actually discovered it.

          Why the lag, especially if the extra pollution is so harmful?”

          The EPA did not lag in talking to VW about it; they simply gave VW a chance to come up with a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy. (There are any number of legal tricks you can do to do well on emissions/economy tests, albeit usually not ones that will paper over a 40x difference.)

          It was only after VW tried a few rounds of panicked B.S. that the EPA got fed up and withheld the emissions certificate allowing the import of the A3 TDI.

        • 0 avatar

          “the EPA was informed about the failures 1.5 years […] Why the lag”

          They knew based on tests. And what they knew was about emissions. They needed to uncover defeat devices specifically, and have tangible proof before going public with accusations of fraud. They had to refer to specific parts of the clean air act in whatever action they took against a company. NOx is definitely harmful no doubt, but they had to meet a legal standard first before going public.

          It has been reported that eventually CARB ended up proving the existence of a defeat device after digging into the source code. I haven’t seen more information on that specifically. They may very well have a requirement for car makers to submit the source code with each car that gets certification. I would be curious about that because source code is not shared very willingly by anyone. (There are escrow services for source code but I don’t know if this is the arrangement between regulators and industry).

      • 0 avatar

        On the down side Bertel doesnt have a Doug-bot.

        EDIT: Just checked the link, I see that Bertel doesn’t mind milking the VW cow either.

  • avatar

    My town’s VW dealer is constructing a huge new store, obviously premised on expecting an enormous increase in unit sales. Think he’s having heartburn now?

  • avatar

    FCA has to be pleased. The obsessive-compulsive are easily steered away, just takes a nudge and the story of the decade. But GM can be responsible for dozens of deaths and get away with a comparatively paltry fine of $900m, while VW gets put out of business?

    • 0 avatar

      VAG won’t go out of business. They’ll take their hair cut, not a scalping, and move on.

      How do you know that emissions 10-40 times the law isn’t also killing dozens of people?

    • 0 avatar

      The fine for VW hasn’t been determined yet, but it’s doubtful that the fine itself would put them out of business (at least, not the fine from the EPA.) It’s not the regulator’s fault that the GM fiasco was a cheap fix, and this is not.

  • avatar

    Officially now ‘dieselgate’

    also hasnt this been sort of done before? another brand has some kind of air pump device that pumps air into the exhaust or some crap… and it only works on idle

    that always struck me as odd

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Smog pumps were the second clean air device implemented in the 1960s (PCV valves were the first). The idea is to inject additional air into the exhaust to reduce cold start emissions from incomplete combustion.

  • avatar

    I haven’t decided on what I enjoy more; visiting TTAC & reading the VW onslaught, or Monday night football? I love them both SO very much. Thank you TTAC and a special thank you to ALL posters. :-D

  • avatar

    That’s great, VW/Audi. First you build junk that seldom lasts anywhere near the industry average, then you cut costs by building them even cheaper/crappier, and now you go ahead and dupe your customers, costing your shareholders a small fortune.

    I find it amazing that they’re even still around.

    That’s why drive I drive a ’91 Tempo sans any exhaust from the cat backward. I least I got what I paid for.

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    In diesel-related news, I haven’t heard much lately about France’s plan to phase out diesels altogether over the next few years. Did this signify a shift toward the idea that there’s really no such thing as “clean diesel” and that maybe diesel is not the savior everyone once thought it was, or was it just France going its own way as it tends to do? Between a fear that buying a diesel might mean a tough or impossible resale in a few years and doubts arising from VW’s American fiasco, are diesels basically dying out?

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      The latest from France is that they’ve decided to speed-up tax parity for gasoline and diesel fuel. Gasoline taxes will go down every year while diesel taxes will go up, until they are the same. They aren’t totally phasing-out diesels, but they are leveling the playing field.

      Medium term, they are focusing on electric. Their grid is mostly nuclear (low carbon), and Renault/Nissan is the biggest volume manufacturer of electric cars, so it makes sense in the larger cities.

  • avatar

    These summaries are like being treated to all the episodes of Friends.

    • 0 avatar

      I like Friends. My girlfriend and I are rehashing it on Netflix.

      • 0 avatar

        My brother’s kid back in the late ’90s was getting serious about a girl. He kinda asked my opinion about her so I said “Jeez, she’s hooked on Friends. She’s an intellectual houseplant. If you marry her you’ll have to water and dust her.”

        They ended up drifting apart and the lad later married a brilliant, gorgeous Nordic type who fluently speaks three foreign languages and is now an Associate Professor.

        I’ll always feel responsible for that. And for getting them both into handgun training.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    From the NYT article “Problems at Volkswagen Start in the Boardroom” posted last night:

    “The former Volkswagen executive said Volkswagen’s engineer-driven culture takes the notion even further. He said the engineers felt that the politicians were guilty of rank hypocrisy, especially in the United States, also grumbling that electric cars make no sense as long as power plants are burning fossil fuels.

    “There’s an attitude of moral superiority there,” he said. “The engineers think they know best.”

  • avatar

    Mazda doesn’t look so dumb now, with their delay in bringing a diesel to the U.S. Maybe they weren’t willing to cheat?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    VW-scandal porn

  • avatar

    This is the second summary-style article for this nonsense, I expect a third one soon with 100+ articles, over 90 of them just fruitless speculation.

  • avatar
    Silent Ricochet

    I really don’t care for Volkswagen. Their smug image rubs off on their owners in all the wrong ways. It’s about time they got caught doing their BS. I find most of their owners obnoxious or straight up dbags. Either they’re older men and women that think they’re driving Bimmers or Mercs (calm down, you’re not, it’s a Wolkswagen..) or immature 20-somethings with cargo shorts, skater shoes and backwards fitted hats that buy old shitty Golfs and Corrados, drop them, slam on a muffler and spend more time in the garage then actually on the road due to their horrid reliability. They’re only slightly better than Honda Fanatics. VTEC BRUH!

    That being said, these articles and stories are getting a little tiresome. We all know VW will survive this ordeal just fine. I doubt their brand image in America will even suffer that much amongst the general populace. I haven’t seen this whole ordeal mentioned on any major TV News networks at 8PM or trending on Facebook, so “The People’s Car” will be just fine.

  • avatar

    Sitzkrieg II

  • avatar

    This must be like Watergate for auto journos

    “All the Piëch’s Men” coming soon to a theatre near you.

  • avatar

    I’ve got two points.

    First, while it’s clear that the defeat mechanism was active in US tests, I don’t believe that VW has said anything about whether it was active in other global regions. The mechanism itself was transported around the world as a default part of the total software package and correlation does not equal causation. If they do confess to having it active in every country, that’s when the pooh will really hit the fan.

    The second thought is that the engine involved is old, both in terms of operation and software. As far as I understand (and I’ve read a lot about this) it can’t support SCR as it doesn’t have the related software or hardware. Essentially, it seems as though VW was pawning off old technology in lieu of a new engine to save related R&D costs and keep investor confidence high. That’s pretty much up in smoke (aha, see what I did there?) and the only realistic route to a solution would be to buy back the cars.

    Adios, VW of America, sacrificial lamb for VAG.

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