Fishmonger, Tiny Country Deliver Bad News to Volkswagen

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fishmonger tiny country deliver bad news to volkswagen

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]

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8 of 16 comments
  • Chris724 Chris724 on Feb 07, 2017

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

    • See 5 previous
    • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Feb 07, 2017

      @RobertRyan 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.

  • NeilM NeilM on Feb 07, 2017

    "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.

  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
  • Greg Add me to the list: 2017 Sorento EX AWD w/2.0 Turbo GDI 68K miles. Changed oil religiously with only synthetic. Checked oil level before a rare long road trip and Ievel was at least 2 quarts down. That was less than 6 months after the last oil change. I'm now adding a quart of oil every 1000 miles and checking every 500 miles because I read reports that the oil usage gets worse. Too bad, really like the 2023 Tuscon. But I have not seen Hyundai/Kia doing anything new in terms of engine development. Therefore, I have to suspect that I will ony become a victim of a fatally flawed engine development program if I were to a purchase another Kia/Hyundai.
  • Craiger 1970s Battlestar Galactica Cylon face.