Profit From Punishment? Volkswagen's Preferred Emissions Penance Faces Criticism From State Officials and Automakers
Government officials and automakers are accusing Volkswagen of twisting its emissions-cheating penance to its own advantage. As part of its sentence for equipping over half a million vehicles with defeat devices, the United States is forcing VW to spend billions of dollars on a decade-long program that promotes environmentally friendly transportation and green technologies. The company opted to invest a large part of those compulsory efforts into establishing an EV charging network within the U.S.
However, seven state attorneys generals have urged the Environmental Protection Agency to closely monitor Volkswagen’s course. They contend that such a network would give the company an unfair advantage in the forthcoming electric revolution, allowing VW to profit from its misconduct.
VW Refuses to Share Probe Findings With Angry Investors
Volkswagen AG announced at its annual shareholders meeting this week that it will not be publishing the findings of an external investigation into its diesel emissions scandal conducted by the Jones Day law firm. The reason for VW’s secrecy is due to an underlying fear among management that the information held in the report would lead to further lawsuits and fines.
VW Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch addressed the thousands of shareholders by first thanking the U.S. legal team for its hard work and then explaining there was no way in hell anyone outside of the company would benefit from its findings — tossing any promised transparency out the window.
Volkswagen Is Offering Huge Discounts on Repaired 2015 Diesel Models, but Isn't Advertising It
Earlier this year, Volkswagen received the necessary approvals to begin fixing vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter diesel engines that had been modified to circumvent emissions testing. While older VW and Audi models with TDI powerplants continued amassing on vacant lots via its mandatory buyback program, 2015 MY units have begun undergoing engine control module alterations.
Those vehicles are now back on sale and Volkswagen is offering them with a considerable discount attached, though the manufacturer hasn’t made a peep about the deal. Instead, the automaker is leaving it to dealers to break the news — or not.
Volkswagen Turned a Defunct Stadium Into a Junkyard and Pontiac Isn't Pleased
After a lengthy death rattle spanning from 2006 to 2012, Michigan’s Pontiac Silverdome finally closed for good in 2013. Its parking lot, however, remains in use thanks to Volkswagen’s legal obligation to buy back scores of diesel cars following its infamous emissions scandal. In stasis since January, the cars have become an unwelcome addition to the deteriorating stadium and the city of Pontiac has opted to sue the property’s current owners for holding them.
While the site’s parking lot is being used for its intended purpose for the first time in years, city officials claim that Triple Investment Group has violated numerous safety codes, zoning ordinances, and a municipal code relating to the proper storage of used vehicles at the property. Six complaints were filed with the 50th District Court in Pontiac on February 27th, roughly a month after hundreds of VWs arrived in the wake of the company’s emission’s crisis.
Now, the doomed diesels number in the thousands.
German Audi and VW Offices Raided in Ongoing Diesel Emissions Investigation
As Volkswagen Group’s emission scandal settles down in the United States, things in Europe remain unresolved. German police raided the headquarters of Volkswagen and Audi as part of the never-ending investigations into the company’s diesel cheating.
The German blitz was carefully orchestrated as investigators simultaneously hit Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, the corporate offices at its Neckarsulm plant, and VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. Separate spokesmen from VW and Audi confirmed the raids, both adding they’re cooperating with authorities.
Volkswagen's Ex-compliance Chief Will Receive a Minimum $12 Million Severance, Plus Pension
Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, Volkswagen’s outgoing compliance chief, will receive at least $12 million for her time with the company — with the possibility for as much as $16.1 million (15 million euros). Hohmann-Dennhardt, who was brought on to get VW through its messy emissions crisis, was canned by the automaker last week. The company attributed the “amicable” split to a “disagreement in the understanding of responsibilities and future operating structures within the function she leads.”
New reports indicate that a central aspect of those disagreements involved Volkswagen’s upper management attempting to stop Hohmann-Dennhardt from exposing any additional information on how the emissions scandal transpired.
Volkswagen Tosses 30,000 Overboard to Right the Ship
Volkswagen has reached an agreement with its workers to cut 30,000 jobs as it tries to restructure the company for the future. The decision comes as VW faces a watershed moment in the wake of a self-made disaster.
TTAC News Round-Up: Bob Lutz Says Tesla's Most Successful Product is Kool-Aid
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!
Volkswagen to Slash Office Jobs by Next Year, Says Report
Like ripples in a pool of sulphur-rich oil, the impact from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal keeps spreading.
In a cost-cutting measure designed to mitigate the growing financial damage caused by the scandal, Volkswagen is planning to cut 3,000 administration jobs in Germany, according to Reuters.
BREAKING: Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn Resigns
Volkswagen’s American operation is looking for a new leader.
Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, stepped down effective immediately on March 9.
The company stated that Horn departed in mutual agreement with the company, and will be pursuing other opportunities.
Unfixable Volkswagen Diesels Could Keep Living the California Dream
There’s a chance that older Volkswagen TDI models branded as pollution monsters in the ongoing diesel emissions scandal could keep rolling along the avenues and alleyways of the Golden State.
On March 8, California’s air regulator floated the idea that diesels that can’t fully be brought back into compliance with state laws might get a pass, according to Reuters.
Tod Sax, chief of the California Air Resources Board’s enforcement division, admitted that bringing every one of the state’s approximately 82,000 afflicted diesels up to code is probably not possible.
TTAC News Round-up: New Salvo Hits Volkswagen, Korean Competition Looms, and Benz Big on Batteries
After seemingly using up its legal arsenal against Volkswagen, the U.S. is pulling its backup out of an ankle holster and taking another shot.
That, Kia and Hyundai might get a Korean competitor, Mercedes-Benz is feeling charged up, Audi is still a fuel cell fan, and Volvo wants to standardize EV recharging … after the break!
It's a Day That Ends With "Y", Meaning More Bad News for Volkswagen
There’s never a dull moment at Volkswagen, and today the automaker finds itself fighting battles on so many fronts they’ll soon be wishing for General Eisenhower’s plotting table.
As the company steels itself for further [s]bad[/s] terrible financial news, German prosecutors have widened their probe into the diesel emissions scandal and targeted 17 Volkswagen employees.
The new headcount is a big jump from the earlier six suspects, and authorities have said they’re not done looking. So far, none hail from Volkswagen’s management board, but Klaus Ziehe, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, has said that management involvement has not been ruled out.
TTAC News Round-up: North Korea's Good Times Threatened, Suzuki Cashes Out, and an EPA Backup
New U.S. sanctions might spell the end of the glorious, glorious era of North Korean vehicle production.
That, Suzuki asks for its winnings and staggers home, automakers are being slowed down by the EPA (and it’s all Volkswagen’s fault), Audi still loves diesels (and so do you, America!), and Volvo tries to spice up its life … after the break!
Volkswagen 2-Liter Diesel Fix Plan Won't Be Ready by Deadline
Volkswagen won’t be meeting a March 24 deadline to outline a diesel fix for U.S. regulators, Automotive News reports.
Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess made the admission in a German newspaper on March 5, claiming it will take the embattled company months, not weeks, to work out a fix for vehicles affected by the the diesel emissions scandal.