By on February 7, 2017

VW logo

Minus an ongoing criminal probe that has some executives, including the company’s former CEO, sweating bullets, Volkswagen has seen relatively little blowback from the emissions scandal in its home country.

Its emissions-rigged diesel vehicles continue to ply the roadways of the Continent, with nothing like the multi-billion-dollar American buyback scheme in sight. It’s not smooth sailing, however, as some burned customers have decided to come for their own pounds of flesh. This week, a company that knows all about flesh showed up in search of payback.

According to Reuters, Germany’s top fish and seafood manufacturer and distributor is suing the automaker after failing to reach an out-of-court settlement. Deutsche See operates two manufacturing plants and 23 subsidiaries, and leased 500 vehicles from VW.

Deutsche See takes great pride in its green credentials. The company was declared the most sustainable company in Germany in 2010, not long after the emissions-rigged diesels began rolling out of Wolfsburg. “Deutsche See only went into partnership with VW because VW promised the most environmentally friendly, sustainable mobility concept,” the company said in a statement.

Talks apparently went awry after VW replaced managers working on the case with lawyers and PR advisors. Now, the fish company just wants its money. It is demanding the euro equivalent of $12.8 million. That’s small herring compared to the billions spent in the U.S., but the Deutsche See case sets a precedent: it’s the first corporate lawsuit against VW in its home country, and could spark a wave of litigation.

Meanwhile, the postage stamp-sized country of Luxembourg has launched criminal proceedings against “unknown persons” at the automaker, Reuters reports. The country’s infrastructure ministry has declared Luxembourg “a victim of criminal action that led it to certify cars” from VW.

The move comes after the European Commission prodded seven countries into going after the automaker.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

16 Comments on “Fishmonger, Tiny Country Deliver Bad News to Volkswagen...”

  • avatar

    Night of the Long Knives at Volkswagen. Major shareholder and former CEO Piech reportedly already testified against Winterkorn.

  • avatar

    I think it only affects the 2.0 and 3.0 TDi engines – if
    they were going for the “green” 1.6 TDi surely not affected? (or was it? It isn’t being recalled for the ‘fix’…)

    Edit – seems the 1.6 needs a hardware fix!!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They might have gotten more money than that under the terms of the US settlement.

  • avatar

    The rot was SO deep, I’m surprised that no government has yet simply made the resignation of the entire board, along with the firing of every manager even remotely connected to the case, as a condition of settlement.

    I can understand VW covering the criminal defense costs of implicated execs, but I remain baffled it feels the need to keep any of them on the corporate payroll.

    Until they can convincingly persuade governments there’s no rot left to remove, the Death of 1000 Cuts will continue. Even if most of the costs are behind them (which may or may not be true, depending on how much pain EU nations want to inflict) it will be a continuing distraction for the next 7-10 years.

  • avatar

    Burned customers? In what way were any of the customers burned? The cars still work just fine.

    • 0 avatar

      Here’s a few:

      -They were defrauded, inasmuch as what they were told they were buying was not what was sold to them. If I buy X and then actually get Y that’s fraud, regardless of whether it “works fine”.
      -Loss of resale value
      -Time lost to dealing with dealer visits and recall related paperwork
      -Aggravation and uncertainty of not knowing the legal or technical status of a major purchase
      -Loss of prestige. Signaling status and values is one of the reasons that people buy a particular car; a diesel VW no longer does either of those things as well as it used to.

      • 0 avatar

        Still selling many diesel VW’s. No problems there. VW has dropped it’s tiny diesels 1.2 or 1.4 capacity as a petrol/ hybrid is just as efficient. It has increased the size of the larger.diesels to make them more efficient.

        “If I buy X and then actually get Y that’s fraud, regardless of whether it “works fine”.
        How many companies are guilty of that?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The cars don’t actually ‘work just fine’.

      They pollute far worse than anyone was told. Controlling pollution is one function of a working automobile.

      • 0 avatar

        @SCE to AUX
        They are as bad as others. Cars work very well

        • 0 avatar

          The cars don’t work “very well” at all. They fail at a major purpose for which they were intended.

          If I fill your crankcase with water, will you be happy? Because water is great. Love it. Works fine.

          But not for the purpose for which I intended it, which is lubrication of your engine.

          The cars don’t work fine at all.

    • 0 avatar

      If they had asthma, copd, or other pulmonary diseases, it may have aided in killing them. That’s a burn.

  • avatar

    “Major shareholder and former CEO Piech reportedly already testified against Winterkorn.”

    Piëch is one of the Family, so obviously it’s Winterkorn who gets thrown under the (diesel) bus.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • jkross22: NTSB is doing it’s job. It’s responding to it’s partners, the automakers, by selectively...
  • MRF 95 T-Bird: Most of the FWD crossovers are solid in the sunbelt. The take rate is a few percent. It probably makes...
  • jkross22: Dave, You nailed it. On all points. Musk’s public tantrum, despite him being correct on the point, is...
  • jkross22: Mike, The reason GOP is going ape is because they don’t get to take credit for a tax cut. It’s...
  • jkross22: “The natural trajectory of any institution is towards corruption and incompetence.” – An...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber