'Weak Points' Led To Widespread Volkswagen Cheating, Says Top Execs

Volkswagen announced Thursday that the automaker’s investigation had identified institutional breakdowns and individual misconduct that led to the installation of more than 11 million “defeat devices” aimed at cheating emissions tests in its diesel cars.

Volkswagen Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch told journalists and investors that some parts of the company “tolerated breaches of rules” while it developed the illegal devices, according to Automotive News.

Thursday’s announcement was an interim report on the internal investigation by Volkswagen that has already resulted in nine suspended employees, including a high-ranking engineer who was with the automaker for 30 years. Pötsch said the external investigation, which will be conducted by U.S. firm Jones Day, will continue well into 2016.

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BMW, Audi, Mercedes Finish Purchase of Nokia's Mapmaking Division; Cartography Now Acceptable As College Major

No one will laugh at you for majoring in cartography anymore. Well, maybe not everyone. — Aaron

Daimler AG, Audi and BMW announced Friday that the trio had completed its purchase of Nokia’s mapmaking business, HERE, which the trio announced they were seeking to purchase in August.

The companies didn’t specify details about the transaction, and said they would announce more about their purchase on Monday. In August, the companies announced they were purchasing the mapmaking business, which provides cloud-based maps and data for more than 200 countries, to further develop “swarm technology” that could allow cars to communicate with each other.

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Suspended Top Audi Engineer Quits After 30 Years With German Automaker

Ulrich Hackenberg, who was Audi’s chief engineer and among the first to be rumored to catch heat for Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, resigned Thursday according to the automaker.

Audi’s new chairman of its supervisory board, Matthias Müller, said Hackenberg was responsible for implementing designs such as the automaker’s current MQB global architecture and cars such as the A3, A4, A6, A8 and TT.

“Above all, the modular toolkit system is inseparably connected with the name of Ulrich Hackenberg. He had that idea already in the early nineties at Audi. Today, the entire Group profits from it,” Müller said in a statement.

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US Lawsuits Could Cost Volkswagen $1.5B 'on the Low End'

Analysts are estimating that more than 400 lawsuits (for now) pending against Volkswagen for fraudulent “clean diesel” claims could cost the automaker billions in court — if they even go that far.

Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News) that as lawyers for owners and Volkswagen wrangle over where to eventually hold a consolidated trial against the automaker, many analysts believe Volkswagen — who has already admitted to committing fraud — may end up paying at least $1.5 billion to customers, before damages or a potential buy back. That figure could rise to $8.9 billion if Volkswagen has to buy back their cars, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Brandon Barnes.

(Presumably, those billions would be spent outside of a single wrench being turned on one of its illegally polluting cars.)

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Volkswagen Has To Recall 323,700 Cars in India Now

Volkswagen will have to recall hundreds of thousands of cars in India for cheating emissions standards, adding to Volkswagen’s worldwide woes that the automaker illegally sold with “defeat devices” designed to cheat emissions tests, Reuters reported.

More than 323,000 Audi-, Volkswagen- and Skoda-branded cars with the automaker’s EA 189 diesel engine will need to be fixed after authorities discovered in November that those cars were illegally polluting. The revelations follow similar charges made by U.S. authorities two months ago that Volkswagen and Audi cars were polluting up to 25 times more nitrogen oxide than allowed by law.

Volkswagen officials in India said cars would be recalled immediately.

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2016 Audi S7 Review – The Coupe With Too Many Doors [Video]

Coupé-like styling is one of the biggest buzzwords at new car launch parties. Although this is more of a modern phenomenon, the root of the seemingly contradictory four-door coupé is older than you might think.

In 1962, Rover dropped the rear roofline on its P5 sedan and dared to call it a four-door coupé. In 2004, Mercedes picked up on this idea with the CLS-class Coupe. It was only a matter of time before Audi and BMW joined the party with the A7 and 6-Series Gran Coupé.

Now, many of you may say we already have a name for the four-door coupé. It’s a sedan. I agree with you. Audi isn’t entirely convinced by the “coupé” designation either, and they only dare mention it twice in the 62-page brochure. This means the S7 is a $12,000 styling exercise atop a tasty and more practical S6.

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Report: Volkswagen Officially Recalls Dirty Diesels in Germany, Fixes Start January

Volkswagen will officially recall all of its illegally polluting diesel engines in Germany, German newspaper Die Welt reported Monday (via Reuters), the first step in a wave of recalls to fix 11 million cars worldwide.

Roughly 2.5 million cars in Germany will be recalled — 1.5 million Volkswagens, 500,000 Audi and 500,000 Skoda- and Seat-branded cars — with work beginning in January. Last week, t he German transportation authority approved Volkswagen’s fix for 1.6-liter cars, which included an “air calming” pipe ahead of the intake’s air sensor. The company’s 1.2- and 2-liter cars may only need software fixes.

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board will review Volkswagen’s proposal submitted earlier this month for fixing 482,000 cars in the U.S. It’s unclear what those fixes may be. During congressional testimony in October, Volkswagen of America chief Michael Horn said it would be a combination of hardware and software fixes.

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Audi Suspends Two Engineers Over 3-liter Diesel Scandal; Still Has No Idea How This Happened
Audi has suspended two engineers for their involvement in helping Volkswagen’s larger 3-liter diesel engine pass emissions, according to Audi’s CEO. (Or you know, Volkswagen’s other, other emissions scandal.) The engine is used in the Porsche Cayenne and Audi’s range of sedans and crossovers.Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told German newspaper Donaukurier that two engineers were suspended Wednesday and that the company was learning about its engines along with the rest of us.
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Here Is The Fix For Volkswagens In Europe: A Mesh Air Pipe and Software

Volkswagen in Germany announced Wednesday its fix for millions of its 1.6- and 2-liter diesel engines in Europe that are illegally spewing nitrogen oxides and have cost the company billions in a massive worldwide scandal.

According to the automaker, a small “flow transformer” would be fitted in front of the air mass sensor in 1.6-liter, EA189 engines. The small transformer will calm air leaving the air filter before reaching the sensor. Volkswagen says the calmer air will allow the sensor to more accurately measure airflow for combustion. The fix would take less than an hour. For 2-liter engines, the proposed fix would be a software update and would take 30 minutes. Both plans have been approved by the German transportation authority.

Both fixes may be headed to cars in the U.S. However, the announced plan was in Germany for engines only on sale in most of Europe. Volkswagen submitted its U.S. plan last week to the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, but details of that plan haven’t been released.

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Audi Offers Its Own Goodwill Program To A3 TDI Owners

Audi announced last week that owners of its A3 TDI model would be offered the same goodwill program available to Volkswagen TDI owners.

The program, which started Nov. 20, offers owners the same $500 prepaid Visa card that can be used anywhere and a $500 dealership gift card that can be used at Audi dealerships. Three years of roadside assistance also will be included in the goodwill program.

According to Audi’s diesel information site, accepting the goodwill package doesn’t preclude owners from suing Audi in the future.

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BREAKING: Audi Admits to Defeat Device, Details Fix For 3-liter Diesel Engines

Audi, a brand within Volkswagen Group that markets the majority of 3-liter diesel engines sold by the group in the United States, released a statement Monday detailing how it plans to fix vehicles that use a defeat device. The automaker also stated that three separate Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices — not just one — are used in 2009 and later 3-liter diesels used by Audi, Volkswagen (Touareg) and Porsche (Cayenne).

AECDs for those engines will “be revised, documented and submitted for approval,” Audi said in the statement.

Of the three AECDs, the EPA questioned the legality of a temperature conditioning procedure of the exhaust-gas cleaning system.

“One of (the AECDs) is regarded as a defeat device according to applicable US law. Specifically, this is the software for the temperature conditioning of the exhaust-gas cleaning system,” Audi said in a statement.

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Volkswagen Beats EPA Buzzer, Details Fix to US Officials

On Friday, Volkswagen of America detailed its plan to fix nearly 500,000 illegally polluting diesels in the United States to officials with the Environmental Protection Agency, the government body announced in a statement late Friday. The automaker was required to detail the fix no later than Friday.

The EPA, along with the California Air Resources Board, will review the proposal, said the statement. However, the EPA did not detail the proposal to the media or public and did not give a timeframe on when to expect the proposal to be detailed publicly.

The proposal only addresses issues detailed by the EPA in its September 18 Notice of Violation that applies to Volkswagen’s 2-liter diesel engines and not the 3-liter diesels which may also be cheating emissions tests.

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More Volkswagen, Audi Vehicles Included in EPA's 3-liter Diesel Notice of Violation

During a meeting Thursday between the Environmental Protection Agency, Volkswagen and Audi, officials from the automakers told the regulator an emissions program for 3-liter turbodiesel engines is also used on 2009 through 2016 model year vehicles, the EPA said in a statement today.

An earlier statement from the EPA on November 2 pointed the finger at a limited number of models and model years equipped with the 3-liter diesels, even though other model years of those same vehicles are virtually identical with regards to their emissions systems.

In the latest statement, the EPA is still calling the emissions program a defeat device, though Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have yet to recant their claim that the emissions program is legal and doesn’t violate emissions laws.

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Fix Due Friday For Volkswagen's Dirty Diesels

Volkswagen will have to submit Friday its plans to the California Air Resources Board and Environmental Protection Agency to fix hundreds of thousands of illegally polluting cars in the U.S., Reuters reported ( via Automotive News). Although a fix is due today, testing that fix could take months before it would be installed in cars.

The deadline for the automaker comes after it announced it would ask Michael Steiner, head of Porsche development and quality, to oversee Volkswagen’s compliance with officials worldwide to fix up to 11 million cars. In Europe, Volkswagen demonstrated a fix for its 1.6-liter diesel engine that included an air sensor and software update that cost around $10.68, according to German outlet Wirtschaftswoche.

Volkswagen has said that its newer cars would likely only need a software update to be compliant. Older cars that are equipped with EA189 2-liter diesel engines may need more costly fixes.

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Volkswagen, Audi Meeting With US Officials To Talk Fix

Officials from Volkswagen will meet with U.S. environmental regulators this week to discuss how it plans to fix nearly 500,000 illegally polluting cars, according to Reuters. Officials from Audi will meet with regulators separately.

According to the report, Friedrich Eichler, VW’s powertrain development chief, will meet with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board to discuss proposed fixes for its cars ahead of its Nov. 20 deadline.

This month, a source indicated to TTAC that Volkswagen would start fixing its cars in February, pending approval from the EPA and CARB.

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Volkswagen Says 430,000 New Cars Cheated CO2 Levels

Update: A spokesman for Volkswagen of America said U.S. cars aren’t affected.

Volkswagen announced Friday that more than 400,000 of its cars with “irregularities” in reported carbon dioxide emissions were new cars, which could shed new light on how many more cars the beleaguered automaker would have to pay for.

This month, Volkswagen announced 800,000 cars emitted more carbon dioxide than reported to regulators. Of those cars, Volkswagen announced Friday that 430,000 were 2016 models across many of the automaker’s brands including Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat. It’s unclear how many older models may be added to the list of cars that emit more carbon dioxide.

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Winterkorn Resigns Post At Audi … Wait, He Still Had A Job At Audi?

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced Wednesday that he would resign his position as chairman of Audi’s supervisory board following revelations two months ago that those cars may have been illegally polluting, which threw the automaker into a tailspin.

Winterkorn stepped down from his role as chairman from Volkswagen in September after the scandal broke and resigned his position at Porsche Automobil Holding SE, VW’s largest shareholder, in October. Winterkorn may have stepped down from his position at Audi because what took him so long?

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Volkswagen's Apology and How It Might Save Millions

Volkswagen’s Goodwill Program in the U.S., which may cost the company nearly half a billion dollars all told, may be a form of corporate apology that could insulate the automaker from further lawsuits.

Michael Siebecker, a professor of law at the University of Denver, says the company’s gift cards could be a form of “corporate apology” that studies have shown help shield some doctors from medical malpractice lawsuits.

“I believe that this is a type of watered-down apology. They may be saying ‘You must be hurting, here’s a little something to get by.’ I don’t know what exactly they think consumers need right now,” Siebecker said.

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For Some TDI Owners, Conflicting Messages on Trade-in

As Volkswagen works to make amends with customers and the public, TDI owners ready to give up their illegally polluting cars are hearing conflicting messages from some Volkswagen dealers who are either unwilling to or begrudgingly taking in those cars on trade.

A TDI owner said when he took his car into Flow Motors Volkswagen in North Carolina last month the dealership told him it wouldn’t initially accept his vehicle for trade. The dealer originally had asked if the owner had found a willing dealership to take his car.

“ … Let me know as I have a couple of other diesel owners I will send if things worked out for you,” the dealer wrote in an email after they turned down the man’s diesel car.

“To say I’m irritated is an understatement,” the TDI owner wrote.

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Report: Volkswagen Alone in Cheating So Far, Testing Shows

Increased scrutiny on diesel-powered cars’ emissions hasn’t revealed any other cheating cars beyond Volkswagen’s models, German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported ( via Reuters).

In an interview with California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, the German outlet reported that Nichols said Volkswagen appeared to be alone in cheating so far.

“Up until now we have found no fraudulent defeat device in vehicles of other brands,” she told the magazine. “There is nothing that comes close to the magnitude of the excess in VW vehicles. “

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Could Growing Volkswagen Scandal Engulf New CEO Mller?

Analysts have questioned whether newly hired Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller will effectively navigate the automaker through a deepening scandal as more vehicles and more cheating is uncovered, Automotive News reported.

Müller, who took over as Volkswagen AG CEO from the top spot at Porsche, has yet to instill confidence in investors, according to analysts.

“It’s a like a virus that’s spreading,” Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific, told Automotive News. “With every new bit of information that’s uncovered, it digs the knife in a little deeper and produces more doubt and skepticism that they have an understanding of how deep this crisis is.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Fixes to Begin in US in February

According to the same source who revealed to TTAC that Volkswagen will announce next week its “TDI Goodwill Program”, the automaker will also begin to roll out fixes for affected diesel emissions cars in the U.S. in February.

The fix, which was mentioned to dealers and communicated to dealer staff, will comprise of an ECU flash. The details of the ECU flash itself and the specific vehicles to which it will apply were not provided.

It was reported previously that different generations of the affected EA189 diesel engine could receive varying levels of correction, from ECU flashes to the installation of full urea-fed SCR systems. This ECU flash could be just one of two or three fixes for Volkswagen’s dirty diesels.

Volkswagen has supposedly earmarked $4 billion to fix their diesel cars and public reputation in the U.S., which includes money the automaker will use to fund the “TDI Goodwill Program”, said the source.

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Germany's Transportation Chief Wants To Retest Every Volkswagen Now

German authorities said Wednesday that they would retest all Volkswagen cars — regardless of engine type or brand — for emissions compliance, Reuters reported.

German transportation minister Alexander Dobrindt expressed his “irritation” with the automaker that more cars were being added to the deepening scandal. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency notified the automaker that some of its 3-liter diesel models may contain an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions tests.

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Volkswagen Says Newer Diesels May Have Illegal Defeat Device, Too

Volkswagen said Thursday that early versions of its EA 288 engines could have been equipped with the illegal emissions software at the heart of its diesel scandal, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).

The revelation would largely affect European cars, and could potentially expand the list of 11 million cars Volkswagen will be forced to recall this year.

U.S. cars using the “Generation 3” engine, which include 2015 models of the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Passat and Audi A3, were already included in the stop-sale and notification by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Total 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 Thursday.

Vehicles from the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands are included in the recall. The latest EA 288 diesel engine is not part of the recall.

Volkswagen said it will begin to rollout fixes in January 2016.

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2016 Audi A6 3.0T Review (With Video)

Audi is a brand associated with all-wheel drive, well-fitted interiors and design evolution that requires you to park a new model next to an old one to tell what has been changed. The 2016 A6 doesn’t diverge much from this formula despite being a thorough refresh of the outgoing A6.

This Audi plays in the crowded midsize luxury pool with competition coming from every angle. The big boys are, of course, the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but 2016 also brings an all-new and all-aluminum Jaguar XF. We also have Cadillac’s latest CTS, a Maserati Ghibli for those that want something less reliable than a Jag, the Lexus GS and Infiniti Q70 from the land of the rising sun and the Koreans have the Genesis — and that’s before we start including the more distant competition from Volvo, Acura, Lincoln, etc. The last A6 was a midsized luxury unicorn, because not even Nissan thought they could sell a front-wheel drive luxury car in America with a CVT. As it turns out, not even Audi could defend the CVT in a luxury entry, so 2016 sees the end of Audi’s dalliance with the cogless tranny. Fear not folks, the A6 is still the odd German out since the base model is still front-wheel drive.

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Canada: We're Going To Investigate Volkswagen and Also Hack Some Pickups

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in Ontario, Canada, has launched an official investigation into Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada regarding their roles in the ongoing diesel emissions scandal that affects some 35,000 vehicles in the province, the ministry announced Wednesday.

The investigation is related to possible violations under Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act that prohibits the sale of vehicles that do not meet emissions standards.

(But, why is there a picture of a Chevrolet Silverado painted in army green at the top? Hold on. We’ll get there.)

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Audi 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” included in 11 million Volkswagen Group cars.

Audi owners can identify if their cars will be part of the unprecedented recall by entering the car’s VIN into the website. Audi said it would roll out a similar service in separate, worldwide markets in coming days. Audi owners can also go to dealerships to see if their cars will require recall work.

Volkswagen created a website in the U.S. this week to answer preliminary questions for its owners, including a video message by Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn.

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Green Car Journal Strips Volkswagen, Audi of Awards

Green Car Journal announced Wednesday that they would take back two awards given to vehicles that are now part of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions debacle. The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI and 2010 Audi A3 TDI were bestowed Green Car of the Year awards by the publication.

“Rescinding the Green Car of the Year awards for the VW Jetta TDI and Audi A3 TDI is unfortunate but appropriate,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal.

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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, Reuters reported.

The automaker announced that multiple models including the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 were affected by the “defeat device” uncovered by researchers, which is grinding Volkswagen to an unimaginable halt.

Roughly three-quarters of the affected Audis were sold in Western Europe, including 577,000 in Germany alone, according to the report.

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Feds Say They'll Tighten Emissions Tests to Catch Cheaters

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency said this week that they’ll change regulations to hopefully catch carmakers who cheat on emissions tests in the future.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters at a Wall Street Journal forum Tuesday that the agency would be “upping its game” to stop automakers like Volkswagen from creating two dramatically different emissions cycles for its cars — a cleaner “testing mode” and a dirtier real-world mode. The agency said it would also crack down on automakers who lie about real-world fuel economy.

“Writing regulations takes time,” EPA’s director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality Chris Grundler told the Detroit News. “When you are working in the rapidly changing environment that we’re in right now, we want to make sure that we are agile enough and flexible enough to change with those times.”

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Lawyers Quicker Off The Line To Sue Volkswagen Than Broken TDIs

Only hours after Friday’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen that its cars were illegally polluting, David Fiol, a personal injury attorney in San Francisco, had filed a class-action lawsuit through a Seattle law firm in federal court.

He wasn’t alone either. Reuters reported that at least 25 class-action lawsuits were filed within hours of the EPA’s announcement as lawyers line up to take the lead on what could be one of the largest lawsuits against an automaker in history. Being the lead firm could be lucrative for the lead attorneys: A $2.65 billion 2006 judgement against AOL Time Warner on behalf of shareholders netted the lead firm’s owners $70 million in fees.

And according to the report, law firms don’t have to look far for clients. Many attorneys are VW TDI owners — a clear downside for having an highly educated customer base.

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Volkswagen Powertrain, Technical Development Personnel Next To Get The Axe?

According to Germany’s Bild tabloid, the next Volkswagen personnel to be shown the door could be three people integral to powertrain development during the time when vehicles were fitted with “defeat devices”.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development; Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Board of Management; and Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Head of Powertrain Development at the Volkswagen Group are rumored to be the next executives and managers to be fired, though a final decision won’t be made until Friday.

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BREAKING: EPA 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.
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VW, 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 after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the engines in those cars had an illegal device that “cheated” emissions tests.

“We will work with our colleagues at Volkswagen of America as well as our parent company in Germany to resolve this matter in the most timely fashion,” Volkswagen Canada spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff said in a statement.

Audi Canada has also issued a stop-sale of the Audi A3 TDI, stated Audi Canada spokesman Cort Nielson. No details were available regarding Audi’s plan for continued availability of the A3 TDI.

VW hasn’t announced a timeline for fixing its cars and resuming sales. Over the weekend, VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn apologized for the scandal.

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Billions Erased From Volkswagen's Value In Stock Slide

More than $17 billion has been erased Monday from Volkswagen’s value in shareholders’ eyes as the company awaits more fallout from news that the company cheated through emissions tests.

Volkswagen’s stock dropped more than 20 percent Monday after the German automaker announced it would stop sales of its diesel cars on Sunday. New CEO Martin Winterkorn issued a statement Sunday to apologize:

I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter.

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Volkswagen's Diesel Cars Have Been Sitting At U.S. Ports For Months

Back in July, TTAC reader Stephen told us that his recently ordered 2016 Audi A3 TDI was sitting at port for an unknown reason and his dealer and Audi couldn’t give him much of a reason why.

“(The cars) are being held at the port as they have not been cleared by Quality and Logistics to be released for port processing yet,” a distribution advocate for Audi wrote in July.

As weeks wore on, Stephen alerted us to the varied responses he received from Audi, which ranged from “quality review” to “government certification.” We reached out to Audi on his behalf and heard from a spokesman that the cars were sitting at port awaiting a certificate of compliance from the Environmental Protection Agency, despite being identical to 2015 models that had already been certified.

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Consumer Reports Strips 'Recommended' Rating From VW TDIs

This is hardly the most severe fallout from Volkswagen admitting that it installed “defeat devices” on some of its diesel models to help pass emission tests, but it’s the first of many.

Consumer Reports announced Friday that it was stripping the models of its “recommended” rating until recall repair work was complete on those cars. The publication had bestowed the ratings on Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI and Passat TDI models.

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would force VW to recall nearly 500,000 diesel cars for the illegal “defeat device” that could detect when it was being tested for emissions and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 10 to 40 times beyond its normal operations. The EPA could fine VW up to $37,500 for each car that violates its standards, which could tally up to $18 billion in fines.

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EPA Recalling Volkswagens, Audis for Bogus Emissions Tests

The Environmental Protection Agency 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 standards, the New York Times reported.

The California Air Resources Board and EPA slammed the automaker for using the device that can detect when the car is being tested for emissions and implement full pollutant controls to curb nitrogen oxide emissions.

“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” Cynthia Giles, the E.P.A.’s assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance, said in a statement. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, E.P.A. is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. E.P.A. will continue to investigate these very serious violations.”

Last month, TTAC reader Stephen reported that his newly ordered 2016 Audi A3 TDI was being held at port for months for months for an EPA hold. We reached out to Audi, and they reported the same, directing us to the EPA who reported that the cars had not yet received a Certificate of Compliance.

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2017 Audi S4 Won't Get Dual-clutch Automatic, or Manual

Raphael Orlove over at Jalopnik has fine, fine reporting that the next-generation Audi S4 will sport a conventional 8-speed torque converter automatic instead of the company’s 7-speed dual-clutch unit.

The reason? The S4’s new turbocharged, 3-liter V-6 that produces 354 horsepower creates just enough torque (368.8 pounds-feet of torque, to be exact) to disqualify the automated manual. According to Orlove, the automaker didn’t rule out a DSG in the S4’s future, but said it just won’t be available at launch next year.

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Frankfurt 2015: Audi E-tron Quattro Concept Cruises 310 Mile Electric Avenue

Audi’s latest reveal, the e-tron quattro, might be only a concept at this point, but the all-electric SUV offers a glimpse as to what’s to come from the German premium automaker in 2018 when they roll out a production version in the same vein.

We won’t have full specs on the production EV until closer to launch, but Audi touts the e-tron quattro as having 310 mile range capability along with up to 496 horsepower from three electric motors driving all four wheels.

Yet, even with all that power and efficiency, can you find what’s missing from this all-electric concept?

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Watch Volkswagen Group Night Live at 1:30 PM ET

Volkswagen, as usual before the Frankfurt Auto Show, will be showing all its wares live, Apple-style, the night before press days.

We’ve already seen the Tiguan, Bentley Bentayga and Audi A4, but could there be a surprise up Mr. Winterkorn’s sleeve?

We will keep track of the reveals after the jump.

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Audi Donating $1.1 Million for Refugee Help

You’d have to pay attention and skip the endless garbage about Kentucky county clerks and Donald Trump to hear about the unprecedented flight (and plight) of migrants in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing war torn countries such as Syria, and the European Union is struggling to find homes for all of them.

On Thursday, Audi said it would donate €1 million ($1.12 million) to help refugee aid organizations near its factories.

“We have been shocked by the great suffering of the refugees in Europe,” Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, said in a statement. “People at our doorsteps are in need — and we therefore want to offer help quickly and avoid red tape.”

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Audi's R8 LMS GT3 Race-winning Super Car Can Be Yours!*

* for $450,000 or so.

Audi announced Wednesday that it would make available its race-winning R8 LMS GT3 car for anyone comfortable with its $443,348.12 price tag and access to the race series for which this car is appropriate.

For your cool half-mil you get the R8 LMS, presumably that wing, some spare parts and 585 of the loudest horsepowers you could imagine. Customers can order their cars starting today. (Take a check?)

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2015 Audi S3 Review - Vorsprung Durch Volkswagen

2015 Audi S3 Prestige (U.S.)/Technik (Canada)

2.0-liter TFSI DOHC I-4, turbocharged, direct injection (292 horsepower @ 5,400-6,200 rpm; 280 lbs-ft of torque @ 1,900-5,300 rpm)

Six-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission w/ all-wheel drive

23 city/31 highway/26 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

23.1 mpg on the GIVE ME ALL THE BOOST! cycle (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: Technology Package, LED Headlights, 19-inch 5-Parallel Spoke S Wheels, Spang Blue Pearl Effect paint, Audi Magnetic Ride, Red Brake Calipers

Base Price (Prestige/Technik):
$47,895* (U.S.)/$49,595* (Canada)
As Tested Price:
$52,395* (U.S.)/$54,845* (Canada)

* All prices include $895 destination fee (U.S.) or $2,095 destination fee, PDI and A/C tax (Canada).

Inline, four-cylinder engine. Turbocharging. All-wheel drive. More than 250 horsepower.

Ten years ago, that combination was a rarity in the compact performance segment. Now you can have it all day, every day from Ford, Mitsubishi, Subaru (with a boxer engine) and Volkswagen.

If you have some extra cash laying around — as you do — Mercedes, BMW and Audi will certainly fill your order.

In this sea of choice, turbocharging is the norm, all-wheel drive is becoming more commonplace due to astronomical output numbers, and active differentials and suspensions are programmed to give you Group B levels of confidence.

So, what separates them all from one another? Horsepower, certainly, if you are the type of person to count each and every calculated output unit and declare the top performer — which is the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 — the winner. You could prefer the driving dynamics of rear-wheel drive, thus BMW would provide your only real option.

But, if you aren’t caught up in the numbers or mode of output, the Audi S3 does have a qualitative trick up its sleeve.

Class.

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2016 Audi Q3 Quattro Review - New-To-You Utility [w/ Video]

2016 Audi Q3 Prestige

2.0-liter, DOHC I-4, CVVT (200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm; 207 lbs-ft @ 1,700-5,000 rpm)

6-speed Tiptronic automatic

20 city/28 highway/23 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

20.2 mpg (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: Prestige Trim, Quattro AWD, Sport Package

Base Price:
$34,625*
As Tested:

$42,175*

* Prices include $925 destination charge.

Audi’s Q3 isn’t a new vehicle by any stretch. It was first launched in 2011 but didn’t make it to America until the 2015 model year. That’s because the Q3 plays in a segment that’s new to us — the even-smaller compact luxury crossover. This form factor isn’t new to the rest of the world, but until Land Rover brought the Range Rover Evoque to America and BMW followed up with the X1, there wasn’t a real focus on small luxury soft-roaders.

With crossovers being the latest craze and every luxury brand looking to move down-market to capture fresh young buyers, it was only a matter of time till Mercedes and Audi joined the party with the GLA and the Q3. With a “low” $33,700 starting MSRP, the baby Audi is the more practical counterpart to Audi’s sharp-looking A3 sedan. Although CamCord shoppers have to give up a great deal of room to upgrade to the A3, the Q3 has the potential to be a more sensible option.

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Audi's First All-electric Car Will Be a Model X Fighter

Audi’s first production electric car will be a crossover to fight the Tesla Model X, the German luxury carmaker said Wednesday.

Concept drawings and initial specifications released by Audi detailed their crossover that is powered by three electric motors — borrowed from its R8 e-tron concept car — with a proposed range of over 300 miles. According to Audi, the crossover, which is called the “e-tron quattro concept,” would slot between the company’s 182.6-inch Q5 and 200.3-inch Q7. Tesla’s Model X is 197 inches long.

The crossover’s lithium-ion battery would give the car a range more than 300 miles.

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Quattro Receives Re-brand in Australia, Now Called Audi Sport

You’d be forgiven if you thought Audi’s performance division was called “RS”. After all, the Germans have a history of using letters to describe their more powerful offerings, such as BMW M and Mercedes-AMG.

In Audi’s case, it’s a bit more complex. While the cars themselves wear S and RS badging, the performance division is actually called quattro GmbH (without the capital Q, because Audi), which is the name of the all-wheel drive system that made the brand so popular with Group B rally fans. It’s compounded by the fact normal Audi’s wear the quattro nameplate when they sport all-wheel drive, so it’s not that exclusive of a name.

In Australia, Audi is looking to fix this organizational and marketing nightmare. Enter Audi Sport.

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Audi's Plug-in Hybrid A3 Will Start at $38,825, On Sale in October

Audi announced this week that its plug-in hybrid version of the A3, dubbed A3 Sportback e-tron, will go on sale in October and cost $38,825 to start — $47,725 in Prestige trim — before federal and state incentives.

The car, which combines an 8.8 kWh battery and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, will make a combined 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy and range for all-electric driving hasn’t been announced by the automaker, although some reports peg the EV range at 30 miles.

The A3 plug-in hybrid will be the first Audi to run (at least partially) on electricity in the States.

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Ownership Update: Time To Buy a New (To Me) Car

Rather than begin in media res, let’s recap:

I sold my first Porsche 911 (a “993” as they call it, which means it was built sometime from 1995 to 1998 and was the last version of the 911 to feature air-cooling; mine was a 1996) to a nice guy in Minnesota.

The very next day, my second Porsche 911 (a “997,” which means it was built between 2005 and 2012 and was intended to fix the ugly looks and perceived dubious build quality of its immediate forebear — the “996” 911, which was the all-new car that succeeded the above-mentioned 993; my 997 was a 2007 example of the hardcore GT3 variant) met its end after a teenaged driver failed to yield immediately in front of me, resulting in a collision.

With no means of transportation beyond the shared mobility lifestyle or MARTA, it was time to start shopping for another car. I didn’t really have a defined budget, so I considered cars across a fairly wide price range.

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Audi's New 605-hp S8 is Mostly Aluminum, All Awesome

Audi just unveiled its newest super sedan, the S8, and said that the new all-aluminum car would get an 85 horsepower bump and would sprint from 0-60 in under four seconds.

The turbocharged 4-liter V-8, which can make 553 pound-feet of twist and is only about as deep as a case of beer, just became the eighth wonder of the known universe.

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How Many Versions of the RS4 Will Audi Make?

Audi will release a sedan version of its uber-A4 sometime next year, Autocar is reporting.

Audi has already confirmed that the RS4 would be released as a wagon because “that is what people expect from the RS4,” head of Audi’s Quattro Heinz Hollerweger told Car and Driver this month.

That’s on top of speculation that the RS4 could come to the States and China as a Sportback, similar to the RS7 already on sale. And, of course, we could always get the RS5 like we did last time.

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Next-generation Audi TT RS Will Happily Relieve You of Shifting Duties

When the next Audi TT RS arrives in the U.S. in 2017 (and earlier elsewhere), it will be so advanced that you won’t even have the option of “shifting gears” in a “manual” fashion.

Isn’t it nice of Audi to make that decision for us? Decisions — like coordination — are pretty difficult, after all.

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Audi Confirms Turbos in Future Editions of R8

Future engines in entry-level Audi R8s will be inevitably turbocharged, Audi executives told Motoring (via Car and Driver).

Instead of replacing the 5.2-liter V10s found in the 2017 R8 standard and Plus models, the boosted V6 from the upcoming RS4 (or maybe a turbo five cylinder?) would slot below the naturally aspirated models.

“It is inevitable that we will go to a turbocharged motor for it at some point. It would be in this model cycle, to give us a fuller range,” Ulrich Hackenberg, who sits on Audi’s Board of Management as a technical director, told Motoring last month.

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Audi RS4 May Come to U.S. as Avant or Hatchback

The crown mother of Audi’s sport compacts may have life in the U.S. after all, Car and Driver is reporting.

According to Audi boss Heinz Hollerweger, the RS4 will sport a boosted six-cylinder engine instead of a naturally aspirated eight, and will pack more than 420 horsepower under the hood.

Hollerweger told Car and Driver that the RS4 would likely launch as a wagon in Europe, but if it came stateside that may change — or not. “The U.S. is changing, and there is more demand there (for wagons), so maybe that will change,” Hollerweger said.

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OFFICIAL: 2017 Audi A4 Goes Bigger, Lighter With Predictable Styling

After giving the Audi A6 and A7 a refresh last year, the Ingolstadt-based automaker has rolled out the red carpet for their latest A4 in sedan and Avant flavors.

The newest compact model promises to be lighter, more efficient, and chock full of technology as Audi tries to claim the premium segment crown.

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Wrthersee GTI Treffen: Where Volkswagens Rule

Old and new.

If you’re into Volkswagens – especially of the modified variety – Wörthersee is to you what Sturgis is for Harley riders or Carlisle to Mopar fans. Thousands and thousands of VW fans take over several small, quiet towns around a beautiful mountain lake and turn them into a festival of belly-scraping Volkswagens, Audis, Seats and Škodas.

And there’s beer. Lots and lots of beer.

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Audi A7 Vs. Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – Which One Wins The U.S. Sales Race?

With a broader product portfolio and extra decades of established premium status in the United States, Mercedes-Benz USA sells a lot more vehicles than Audi USA. Through the first four months of 2015, Mercedes-Benz sales were up 9% to 107,344, excluding Sprinter. Audi, globally favored, was up 12% to 56,925.

But again, the comparisons are difficult to make because the lineups simply don’t, well, line up. We’ve discussed the CLA and A3 before, but even there, Audi is offering different bodystyles under one banner, which Mercedes-Benz does not. The S-Class has a significantly higher base price than the A8. The E-Class is available as a sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible – the A6 is sedan only. The GL is significantly pricier than the Q7; the Q7 offers more seats than the ML. The C-Class is new; we might as well wait for a new A4 to draw realistic comparisons. The SLK is a hardtop convertible; the TT is either coupe or convertible.

You get the idea. Only in a handful of zones do the two brands offer truly direct rivals. GLA vs. Q3, GLK vs. Q5, and the matter at hand, Mercedes-Benz CLS vs. Audi A7.

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Frankfurt 2015: Next-Gen Audi A4 Set To Bow Prior To Show

Before its MY 2016 showroom appearance, the next-gen Audi A4 will make its global debut prior to the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show this September.

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Geneva 2015: Audi RS3 Revealed

Revealed last year, the Audi RS3 finally made its public debut at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show.

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  • CanadaCraig Toyota saw this coming. So good for them for being courageous enough to say, "Wait a minute. Let's not rush into anything."
  • Rna65689660 As the previous owner of a Triumph, and current owner of a MINI, I say, LOL!
  • Yuda 1) EVs are garbage and a complete waste of time and money 2) Ford IS a business after all, cars and trucks ain't free, they take a lot of time and money to Actually make, manufacture, and build 3) SD trucks are actually useful and practical
  • Tane94 If there is market demand, build the vehicle. That's what Ford is doing. Kudos
  • Cprescott Looking like that? Egads