A lawsuit has been filed in Germany against Volkswagen in the hopes of forcing the automaker to buy back emission-cheating cars in Europe in the same manner it was ordered to in the United States.
The suit, filed today by a solitary vehicle owner, will become the test case for thousands of other European claimants and aims to put pressure on VW to compensate continental customers for the ongoing emissions scandal.
I’ve no idea how, as I’ve lived in the same Ohio county for all of my 30-plus years (sounds better than nearly 40) on this earth, but I stumbled upon an unfamiliar rural road not far from home last week while testing the new 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen. New roads are naturally meant to be explored, so I flicked the signal lever and looked for adventure.
The weather was typical for late December: brisk, with frost in spots making the fallen leaves a bit slick. My first instinct was to drive cautiously, but I realized that I never get opportunities like this. A few hours alone behind the wheel, in daylight, with nowhere to be. The 4Motion all-wheel drive should save me if things get hairy, right?
If you were considering stripping your Volkswagen diesel prior to returning it, hit the brakes on that project immediately. VW’s nonspecific wording in the buyback terms created a gray area of legality that a few emissions scandal-affected owners decided to test, removing unessential portions of their 2.0-liter TDI-equipped models.
However, after a particularly thorough set of peelings, a federal judge warned opportunistic owners not to strip parts out of their vehicles before attempting to sell them back to Volkswagen through the company’s emissions settlement.
For a solid 15 years — longer than the combined duration of World War I, II, and Korea — Volkswagen has made a habit of teasing consumers with boxy concepts that draw inspiration from the company’s far-out Microbus of yesteryear.
It doesn’t matter whether the automaker is flying high, like it was at the turn of the century (and decade), or digging itself out of a scandal, like it is now. There’s always a piece of flower power vaporware lurking nearby, ready to trigger increasingly distant memories of a free-wheeling, free-love past.
We’ve been tentatively promised some sort of modern-day Microbus since the New Beetle still seemed somewhat new, but to no avail. Well, times are changing, and along with it, technology. But VW’s tactics aren’t.
If only I’d thought ahead.
If only a day earlier I had instructed the Department of Transportation to position cameras across the length and breadth of Nova Scotia and installed a few in-car GoPros, I could have sold footage from our first full day in the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack to Volkswagen for the prototypical all-wheel-drive commercial.
Bitterly cold temperatures had made the snow-clearing efforts from the Friday before a hit and miss affair. Our 150-minute drive from the Atlantic coast, in Eastern Passage, to the Fundy coast, in Cornwallis, turned into a 200-minute drive because of messy roads throughout the Annapolis Valley.
That was only the beginning. The next low began to pass through just after the noon hour, and by the time our 4 p.m. departure time rolled around, we knew we were in for a long drive home. With the confidence inspiring, brand-new Continental WinterContacts at all four driven wheels, we steeled ourselves for what would become a 270-minute drive home.
Four Cains, fast-falling snow, freakishly heavy traffic: this calls for extra ride height. Just a very little bit of extra ride height.
After a seemingly endless legal drama, Volkswagen AG has reached an agreement with the U.S. owners of roughly 83,000 emissions-cheating VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter diesel engines.
Like the earlier settlement for 2.0-liter defeat device-equipped models, this agreement includes a combination of buybacks, fixes and cash payments. Owners of 2.0-liter models have long since counted their “we’re sorry” money, but these buyers will have to wait just a bit longer before finding out what payment to expect for their premium ride.
It’s not a small sum, apparently.
Half a year after an embattled Volkswagen agreed to pay nearly $15 billion in compensation to U.S. diesel owners and regulators, it’s Canada’s turn to dip into the automaker’s sooty wallet.
The company reached a deal today with the 2.0-liter diesel vehicle owners behind a class-action lawsuit. When finalized, the settlement means up to 105,000 bought-back vehicles and more cash added to the company’s penalty pile. $2.1 billion, to be exact, assuming everyone applies for a piece of the pie.
While the cash compensation has the same floor as in the U.S., the payout’s ceiling is lower.
Volkswagen Group has agreed to shell out $200 million into a reserve created to reduce diesel pollution, a stipulation in the pending agreements made over the 3.0-liter diesels that polluted well over the United State’s legal limit.
The finalized agreement between VW and U.S. lawmakers is expected to come by Monday, pending the company’s decision on what to do about the 80,000 Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche vehicles with emissions-cheating diesel engines still on the road. Legal representatives for the carmaker, affected consumers, and the Justice Department have indicated that negotiations are still progressing, however VW may still have to go to trial if a final agreement isn’t reached soon.
Volkswagen will showcase its extended-wheelbase, seven-seat Tiguan Allspace at next month’s North American International Auto Show — hoping to use the crossover to curry favor with the United States in the wake of its diesel emissions scandal.
The 2018 Tiguan Allspace should serve as a cheaper alternative to larger three-row SUVs, similar to Nissan’s Rogue with its optional family package. It should also serve as a way to coax crossover-crazy Americans back into VW’s warm embrace.
Volkswagen and Audi have begun buying back the thousands of 2.0-liter diesel cars sold involved in its emissions cheating scandal. The deal requires the company to offer buybacks to the 475,000 affected owners. However, the settlement does not carefully outline what condition those returned vehicles have to be in.
Some owners are taking that inch for the full mile and stripping their VWs down before returning them to the company to get their big fat check.
There’s no doubt Volkswagen needs its new midsize Atlas to be a home run (or, at least, a ground rule double) to keep its American dealers appeased following the now-year-long diesel emissions scandal. Even before the scandal, Volkswagen USA could neither create a product mix befitting American sensibilities nor price its ill-marketed product at price points palatable to the American public.
Volkswagen appears to be suiting up for an impending battle. The road has been a long and difficult, but the diesel emissions scandal seems as if it’s about to begin its third and final act.
Dozens of German Volkswagen AG officials have hired criminal defense lawyers as the United States Department of Justice elevates its investigation into the company. U.S. authorities have traveled across the Atlantic to conduct additional interviews with managers and gather further evidence on VW’s plot to elude America’s emission regulations.
The California regulator that played an important part in uncovering Volkswagen Group’s emissions cheating plot detailed a list of options on how the automaker will be required to spend the $800 million penance by advancing green tech and nonpolluting cars.
Some of the choices the California Air Resources Board came up with are truly terrible.
Volkswagen has only revealed one entirely new model since the emissions scandal began, and with CC sales tanking hard, now seems a good time to start on a second.
Planned to be revealed in full at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, VW is teasing the public with some specs on its upcoming range-topper.
Disgraced automaker Volkswagen AG is trying to smooth things over in the United States by promising to increase its commitment to North America. The company has stated that its core brand’s lineup will swell to include new electric vehicles slated for U.S. production in 2021.
The task of building those vehicles comes with a mountain of challenges.
The slow-selling Volkswagen CC premium sedan — a model you’d be forgiven for forgetting — has reportedly ended production in Germany.
In happier times, the model added a dash of upscale panache to the squeaky-clean brand. Now, Volkswagen has cast off the aging, underperforming model as it seeks to reclaim lost market share and revenue with the CC’s shadowy replacement.
A concept, or the first of many? That’s what Volkswagen execs need to decide once feedback rolls in from the conservatively sporting Passat GT concept shown off at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
Hot, but not too hot, a Passat GT would be an affordable enthusiast offering for the embattled automaker, spicing up an aging model that’s slipping in the U.S. market. The public’s reaction — be it interest or yawns — is the real deciding factor, but here at TTAC, we’ve been of two minds.
Though today’s hybrids have popularized it, the idea of installing more than one engine in a car to supplement power isn’t particularly new or innovative. In fact, it’s almost as old as the automobile itself.
There are plenty of historical examples of multi-engine cars; probably the most notable are absolute land speed record attempts. Just last week, for example, was the 51st anniversary of the American-made Goldenrod’s 409 mph record, set using no less than four 426 Hemi V8s borrowed from Chrysler.
But even further back, Alfa-Romeo had tried to break the stranglehold of the Silver Arrows in Grand Prix racing by utilizing two straight-eights in a P3 Grand Prix chassis. The solution was innovative, if not particularly successful.
But the exploits of sticking multiple motors in a vehicle to boost power and traction were not limited to exotic racers and record setters. In the 1980s, the concept was reintroduced in a few interesting packages. As it became increasingly clear that Audi’s all-wheel drive would revolutionize the world of rally, Volkswagen Motorsport director Klaus-Peter Rosorius felt Volkswagen shouldn’t play second fiddle to the Quattro.
Instead, they’d play with a second engine.
In the wake of its diesel emission scandal, Volkswagen proclaimed its destiny as tomorrow’s top dog of electric automobiles. However, its e-Golf never really felt like the future. It felt like the past with an electric motor wedged inside — a strategy many companies took while dipping a toe in the EV pool. The result was a green vehicle with an acceptable, but not very impressive, range.
Well, today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, VW announced that it has made the e-Golf more competitive by extending its legs and broadening its horizons.
Volkswagen’s disastrous diesel debacle could nearly be over in the U.S.
Bloomberg has reported that sources close to the issue claim VW and U.S. regulators have agreed on a plan for the roughly 80,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles equipped with emissions-cheating 3.0-liter engines. Those sources have also revealed how many vehicles will be bought back and scrapped, and how many will live to see another day.
As U.S. and European authorities gear-up for another round of investigations, Volkswagen confirmed Audi did produce cars equipped with software that can distort emission test results. Although VW was careful not to be too committal in its wording, hinting at it being a handy driver’s assist instead of a defeat device.
This must be a great time to be a corporate lawyer.
The journey Volkswagen’s uber-American midsize crossover took between CrossBlue concept and Atlas production model was a long one, but it isn’t over.
Though production begins next month in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the model created in the hopes of tapping America’s utility vehicle addiction leaves many questions about its future unanswered.
No, you aren’t losing your mind. This isn’t a completely new form of transportation or an abstract piece of rolling art. What you are seeing is Volkswagen’s venerable hatchback after its mid-cycle update.
This mutilated Golf may be confusing at first, but the more you look at it, the more familiar it begins to appear. The cabin, however, has a surprise in store.
Thanks to U.S. regulators and a new consumer advocacy lawsuit, Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal now includes gasoline-powered Audis!
That, Continental still believes in rubber, the NHTSA plans on staying the course after their captain leaves the ship, and Toyota takes a knee on Superbowl LI… after the break!
In automotive terms, Volkswagen’s go-to MQB platform might end up having a lifespan somewhere between a Fox and a Panther.
Eager to stretch its meager dollars to Gumby-like proportions, the embattled automaker has announced that the platform underpinning most of its vehicles won’t die after two generations. Nah, let’s make it three, VW brand chief Herbert Diess said.
That means some vehicles, such as the stalwart Golf, will eventually ride on a platform old enough to drink in the United States.
Some California tuners are in hot water with Ford after bringing a custom Mustang to SEMA that intentionally looks like the blue oval’s flagship supercar.
That, Michigan’s historic Willow Run factory may be paving the way for the automotive future, Volkswagen is being sued by yet another state, and VW’s chairman is getting back up on the hook as German prosecutors place him back under the microscope… after the break!
The sudden termination of historian Manfred Grieger’s contract with Volkswagen is generating controversy in Germany, with some accusing the automaker of trying to put a lid on its dark past.
Grieger spent 18 years on the VW payroll, and was hired specifically to air the automaker’s dirty laundry. During his time with the company, Grieger penned detailed accounts of Volkswagen’s wartime use of forced labor from concentration camps while opening up the company’s archives to journalists and historians.
The New York Times reports that his contract came to an end this week. Some suspect that Grieger’s criticism of a report on Audi’s past led to his departure, and they worry VW could be trying to downplay revelations about its history with the Nazis and Brazil’s military dictatorship.
Federal authorities busted numerous nefarious organizations for selling illicit auto parts at the SEMA show this week.
That, the automotive industry loses Martin Leach, endangering lives has led Takata to mull bankruptcy, and VW’s diesel emissions scandal continues as the company races for the finish line… after the break!
Volkswagen’s expensive diesel emissions scandal has forced cost cutting on anything that isn’t electric and its rally team is next on the chopping block. Quitting while ahead is ideal but abandoning a program due to financial woes and public shame after a hot streak doesn’t exactly smack of going out on top.
That, Toyota invents a box that allows anyone to use your car, Tesla’s zero-emission credits may soon be worth less, and Ford makes peace with its Canadian autoworkers at the buzzer… after the break!
The Atlas, Volkswagen’s entry into the hotly contested three-row crossover segment, is here — and it has the company’s future fortunes resting on its shoulders.
Volkswagen has not been doing well in the United States. Since 2012, its best sales year this millennia, VW has shed 30 percent of its sales volume. The brand that invented the compact car in the eyes of many Americans now finds itself in 14th place on the brand leaderboard with a 1.6 percent market share.
Dieselgate didn’t help, but its unbalanced product range may be the more nagging culprit. This is VW’s first mainstream, three-row crossover.
Bob Lutz has worked as an executive for General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, and BMW at various points in his storied life. Saying he’s a man who is well-versed in the automotive industry would be a colossal understatement. And that expertise has led him to the assertion that a certain manufacturer is a cult led by a false god.
That, Audi has abandoned its wildly successful career in endurance racing for something far less popular, Ford takes a financial body blow, and Volkswagen Group continues to suffer with Porsche as its sugar daddy… after the break!
Is there something in diesel fuel that makes Volkswagen owners feel they’re extra, extra special? They’re clearly a hard bunch to please, as the judge overseeing the automaker’s U.S. diesel emissions settlement is tired of hearing their demands for more, more, more.
After a year of wrangling, District Court Judge Charles Breyer has approved the $14.7 billion deal, setting in stone the buyback program and cash settlements to owners and U.S. regulators. Sure, the company’s diesel vehicles pump out up to 40 cars’ worth of pollution each, but how much cash are owners expecting to collect?
The halo effect isn’t working for Acura with its NSX.
That, governments in Canada and those of states in the U.S. are still looking to make Volkswagen suffer for crimes against nature, Ford decides to stop producing the F-150 for a bit, Subaru reconsiders its headquarters in New Jersey, and VW could be forced to buy back all its vehicles sold with defeat devices … after the break!
Volkswagen’s plan to cut costs by cancelling underperforming models isn’t enough to right the scandal-rocked ship.
With an incredibly powerful workers union breathing down its neck, trimming its ranks has proved a tough operation. Meanwhile, there’s only so many models it can drop, and bills are coming due from the many fines, settlements, and lawsuits stemming from the diesel debacle.
How does Volkswagen get rid of 25,000 employees while placating a union boss who sits on the supervisory board?
According to Reuters, the answer comes down to one word: attrition. Specifically, retiring Baby Boomers.
Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer, Matthias Müller, had no prior knowledge of his company’s diesel cheating emission software, reports German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Jones Day, the law firm investigating the diesel scandal, has concluded the replacement CEO found out about the scandal on September 18, 2015, one week before taking over at VW and the very same day that U.S. regulators revealed to the rest of the world that Volkswagen pulled a fast one on the Environmental Protection Agency.
The long journey back from the economic damage wrought by the diesel emissions scandal is taking Volkswagen down new roads.
In a bid to boost the profitability of its remaining non-diesel lineup, the automaker will introduce a wholly new model aimed at the premium car crowd, Bloomberg reports.
A figure of Greek mythology with very strong back muscles will find his name plastered on Volkswagen’s upcoming three-row crossover.
According to Automobilwoche, German affiliate of Automotive News, Volkswagen has decided to name their high-hopes, Chattanooga-built model the Atlas.
Volkswagen AG is making nice with its once-ornery U.S. dealer network to the tune of $1.85 million per dealer.
The automaker announced details of its $1.21 billion dealer settlement late yesterday, Reuters reports, with cash payouts to its 652 dealers spread out over the next 18 months. Meanwhile, once-loyal Volkswagen owners have hopped on the buyout bandwagon in big numbers.
After the awkward auto show apologies of the past year, Volkswagen executives are looking forward to a rosy time in the near future after the brand stabilizes itself.
Those “good times” will return, according to global brand chief Herbert Diess, but not before three to four years of rough slogging. In a Bloomberg TV interview from the Paris Auto Show, Diess mulled adding new models to its U.S. lineup.
Looking something like an unborn child peering with sightless eyes from inside an amniotic sack, the Volkswagen I.D. concept vehicle has been revealed ahead of the Paris Auto Show.
The description is apt, as Volkswagen sees the I.D. as an embryo, heralding a long-range electric vehicle slated for production within four years.
It has been a year since we learned that Volkswagen’s tranquil and oh-so-green “clean diesel” utopia was actually a carefully constructed facade hiding a scorched wasteland of pollution and lies. Apparently, that doesn’t mean the jokes need to stop.
The scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research has awarded the financially hurting automaker with a notorious prize that most recipients usually build a fun evening around. It’s extremely, no, absolutely likely that Volkswagen didn’t appreciate the humor.
How much can we chop away while keeping the body alive?
The U.S. Justice Department’s plans for Volkswagen’s criminal fine is like a horror movie, only with corporate finances playing the role of a writhing human subject.
According to two sources close to the negotiations, the DOJ wants to extract as much monetary lifeblood from the automaker as possible, while keeping the company afloat, Bloomberg reports.
The recent news that Volkswagen is pondering an all-wheel-drive Golf for U.S. customers surprised many.
“All-wheel drive is now part of the Volkswagen DNA,” commented Dr. Hendrik Muth of Volkswagen at the U.S. launch of the Alltrack.
That means Volkswagen will be taking on Subaru, the reigning king of all-wheel drive for the masses in the U.S. And since the Golf is already fairly dear in price, adding an all-wheel-drive option to the hatch will make Volkswagen’s compact a near-luxury item. At that price, why wouldn’t you just buy an Audi? It’s the brand with the all-wheel-drive expertise in the VAG clan.
But the reality of an all-wheel-drive Golf is now 20 years old.
Let’s take a look back at nine of the more interesting pre-Alltrack, pre-4Motion versions of the Golf that most U.S. customers have never even heard of.
It’s not the podium an automaker wants to find itself on top of.
After marking the first anniversary of its emissions debacle, former “clean diesel” builder Volkswagen finds itself staring down the barrel of $9.15 billion in investor lawsuits, the Wall Street Journal reports.
When it comes to being sued by investors, no German company can match Volkswagen’s performance.
At the dawn of recorded history, a German auto manufacturer unveiled a concept vehicle and promised North America — then weighed down by the oppressive bulk of towering ice sheets — a new midsize SUV.
Okay, that was only 2013, but it seems that the Volkswagen Teramont (VW hasn’t confirmed the name) has been in development for eons. Billed by some as the automaker’s make-or-break model in the U.S., the Teramont is a seven-seat SUV that borrows its design language from the CrossBlue concept. The automaker’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant will give birth to the model next year.
Now we know what lies under its hood.
Volkswagen is two weeks away from unveiling the future of its company, with high hopes that it will scrub away some of the stigma left by the diesel emissions scandal.
The automaker plans to pivot from oil to electrons with a heavily electrified vehicle lineup, and a showpiece concept heading to the Paris Motor Show precedes an actual EV with up to 373 miles of range, Autoblog reports.
It’s a sad day for Volkswagen Golf GTI purists and fanboys. The GTI — one of autodom’s quintessential hot hatches — will lose its two-door variant in the U.S. as the scandal-rocked automaker jettisons low-volume offerings.
The U.S. federal indictment of Volkswagen engineer James Liang, stemming from the automaker’s effort to cheat on emissions testing of their supposedly “clean” diesel engines, mentions an as-yet unindicted co-conspirator, “Company A”.
That firm allegedly helped Liang and his team at VW develop the software routine that only activated emissions controls when vehicles were being emissions tested. Company A was identified in the indictment as a Berlin-based automotive engineering company that is 50 percent owned by the Volkswagen group, which is also Company A’s biggest customer.
Volkswagen is heavily considering adding an all-wheel-drive variant of the Golf hatchback to its North American lineup, TTAC learned during the media launch for the all-new Volkswagen Alltrack, itself an all-wheel-drive version of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.
Dr. Hendrik Muth, vice-president of product marketing and strategy, explained the addition of 4Motion production to Volkswagen’s Puebla manufacturing facility in Mexico has opened up more possibilities, including the addition of all-wheel drive to the standard Golf hatchback.
On September 9th, Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty after being indicted on a variety of crimes related to VW’s deliberate use of a software routine that cheated on government diesel emissions testing.
Until his guilty plea was entered in United States District Court in Detroit, Liang’s indictment was under seal. Now that it has been made public ( full PDF version here), we know more details about VW’s cheat and it turns out that the German automaker even updated the original software cheat — apparently to work more effectively — with a patch delivered in the guise of fixing emissions related warranty claims.
As the scandal was breaking, Volkswagen also deliberately supplied government agencies with false data to make the problem appear to be the result of a mechanical malfunction, not a defeat device.
Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles division is eager to enter the U.S. heavy truck market, and it just found a partner to help pull it off.
Volkswagen Truck & Bus has announced it will buy a 16.6 percent stake in U.S. truck maker Navistar International Corp., a share buy worth $256 million. Both companies hope to save money (and make more of it) through the technology-sharing deal, with joint products on the horizon.
The youthful squealing could be heard down the long driveway and through several panes of glass. When I told my daughters that I’d be picking them up from the babysitter’s house in something different, they had no idea what chariot would ferry them to softball and cheerleading practice that eventing.
My girls aren’t gearheads by most definitions. While I’m not necessarily brainwashing their preteen skulls with minutiae and data about every car on the road, I’m not letting them become numb to the wonder that is the modern car. My youngest, soon to be eight, ran screaming from the door: “BEETLE!” That’s the power of an iconic brand.
However, I’m thinking the girls reacted most viscerally to the searing yellow paint.
Faced with the option of waiting to see if their cars can be fixed or accepting a hefty cash payout, diesel Volkswagen owners are opting to take the money and run.
Once-fierce loyalty to the dirty “clean diesels” seems to have evaporated, as most owners who’ve registered for the settlement want the automaker to buy back their car, Automotive News reports.
Former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch resigned his position a month after questioning and failing to get answers from ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn about the company’s defeat devices, an internal probe revealed.
The finding from the investigation by U.S. law firm Jones Day was published in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Bloomberg reports, shedding light on the power struggle that preceded the diesel emissions scandal.
Volkswagen continues to claim that with enough time, it can figure out a way to fix 85,000 high-end diesel vehicles in the U.S. without having to buy them back. There’s a problem, though. Time is running out.
After the presiding over yesterday’s settlement deal between Volkswagen and its dealers, a U.S. District Court judge gave the automaker two months to submit a fix for its 3.0-liter TDI models, Reuters reports.