The Heat Is … Off? Porsche Pays Up to Distance Itself From Diesel Scandal
Porsche, builder of SUVs (but also some sports cars), wasn’t eager to draw out the nearly four-year-long diesel emissions scandal any longer. The automaker has agreed to fork over a third bundle of cash to rid itself of the scandal foisted on the brand by its Volkswagen AG parent company.
Well, that’s not entirely correct. German prosecutors are still probing VW Group brass, both current and former, but the mechanical and regulatory side of Porsche’s involvement will pass into history after it pays $599 million.
According to German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, prosecutors say Porsche “abstained from a legal challenge,” preferring instead to pay the fine and be done with it. The fine, which brings Porsche’s payout to $2.57 billion since the scandal broke, covers the sale of vehicles equipped with emissions-rigged diesel engines since 2009.
For Porsche, the penalties are an especially bitter pill, as the non-compliant engines did not originate from its shop. Those mills — and their undisclosed defeat devices — were Audi’s baby.
Still, the payment, which will appear in the company’s second-quarter earnings report, closes the book on the non-human side of the dieselgate affair. Volkswagen added a provision for 1 billion euros in Q1, knowing the fine was coming down the pipe. All told, VW’s fiscal punishment for its deception amounts to over $33 billion.
Managers are still under scrutiny for allowing it to happen, however. Last month, German prosecutors indicted former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn on fraud charges stemming from the scandal. It was that country’s first criminal indictment in relation to the diesel affair. Winterkorn also faces charges in the U.S., where James Liang, a former VW engineer, and Oliver Schmidt, former head of the automaker’s U.S. environmental and engineering office, are already serving prison terms.
Will Germany’s legal axe land on the necks of current VW Group brass? As the painfully drawn-out saga continues, many are asking this exact question.
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- Wjtinfwb Over the years I've owned 3, one LH (a Concorde) a Gen 1 300 and a Gen 2 300C "John Varvatos". The Concorde was a very nice car for the time with immense room inside and decent power from the DOHC 3.5L. But quality was awful, it spent more time in the shop than the driveway. It gave way to a Gen 1 300, OK but the V6 was underwhelming in this car compared to the Concorde but did it's job. The Gen 1's letdown was the awful interior with acres of plastic, leather that did it's best imitation of vinyl and a featureless dashboard that looked lifted from a cheaper car. My last one was a '14 300C John Varvatos with the Pentastar. Great car, sufficient power and exceptional highway mileage. The interior was much better than the original as well. It was felled by a defective instrument cluster that took over 90 days to fix and was ultimately lemon law' d back to FCA. I'd love one of the 392 powered final edition 300s but understand they're already sold out and if I had an extra 60k available, would likely choose a CPO BMW 540i for comparable money.
- Dukeisduke Thanks Cary. Folks need to make sure they buy the correct antifreeze, since there are some many OEM-specific ones out there (Dex-Cool, Ford gold, Toyota red and pink, etc.).And sorry to hear about your family situation - my wife and I have been dealing with her 88-yo mom, moving her into independent senior living, selling her house, etc. It's a lot to deal with.
- FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
- Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
- Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.