Some Volkswagen Goodwill Packages Taking 5 Weeks, Or Longer
Some Volkswagen diesel owners say the goodwill compensation packages they elected to receive four weeks ago, as part of the automaker’s apology to North American consumers, still haven’t arrived in the mail.
According to several owners who wrote on VWVortex, gift cards have taken longer than four weeks — the timeline promised by the automaker — to arrive, if they’ve even arrived at all.
Most of the owners who posted on the forum said that they registered for VW’s goodwill program around Nov. 9, when registrations were initially open.
Weekend News Roundup: Leaf Sprouted? Volkswagen and North Korea; Fancy Fiskers
Here’s some of the news you may have missed if you were out fighting the holiday crowds and spreading some of that Yuletide cheer by burning the hell out of some cookies you were planning on giving the neighbors.
Volkswagen Slated To Show Yet Another Microbus Concept
Multiple outlets are reporting that the vehicle seen in this teaser photo from Volkswagen is none other than an electrified version of the Microbus concept and it will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show next month. The photo follows an earlier report by Autocar (which has since been updated with the same photo and new text) that said Volkswagen would bring a new Microbus to the Las Vegas convention.
We won’t disagree. We also won’t hold our breath for a production model.
EPA Gives 2016 BMW X5d Clean Bill of Emissions, Kind Of
(Update: With EPA comment and clarification on their tests.)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved for sale Friday the 2016 BMW X5d after new tests of that car revealed that it did not use an illegal “defeat device” to cheat emissions standards, Reuters reported.
Well it didn’t use a defeat device as far as they could see, anyway.
“Our screening tests found no evidence of a defeat device in the 2016 BMW X5,” EPA spokeswoman Laura Allen told Reuters. “No evidence” is hardly a clean bill of health from the environmental agency, but at this point we’ll take what we can get.
'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.
Volkswagen Group Chooses Sanz To Tackle Diesel Scandal
There’s a whole lotta shaking going on at Volkswagen’s boardroom, with two new members coming in and one set to oversee the ongoing diesel scandal.
Via press release, the parent company announced Wednesday the arrivals of VW veteran Ralf Brandstätter and Skoda’s Dr. Frank Welch to the namesake brand’s Board of Management. Welch will succeed Heinz-Jakob Neusser — suspended from his post since September 2015 — as the Board Member for Development, while Brandstätter replaces Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz as the brand’s Board Member for Procurement.
Volkswagen Claims CO2 Emissions Lies Were Merely Fibs
A month after questions arose regarding how Volkswagen measured CO2 and fuel consumption in their cars, the troubled automaker says all is well.
Per VW’s PR machine, the automaker found “no unlawful change to the stated fuel consumption and CO2 figures” in the majority of its European lineup, with only nine vehicles for the 2016 model year having slight variations in conflict with their originally stated fuel consumption and CO2 stats.
The nine vehicles found out of step?
Germany is Starting To Resent That We Got Volkswagen In Trouble (Video)
My German begins and ends with “nein” but I don’t need to know much to see what’s going on in this video.
According to the New York Times, sentiment in Germany is starting to build that American regulators are being unfairly harsh with Volkswagen in an effort to bolster domestic manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors and Ram.
The Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen in September that its cars used an illegal “defeat device” to skirt emissions laws. Since then, the automaker has been caught up in an international scandal that has cost the automaker billions and damaged the reputation for Germany’s largest exporter.
Qatar Wants Less Labor Influence at Volkswagen, Maybe
According to a report by Bild am Sonntag (via Reuters), Volkswagen’s third largest shareholder, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), wants trade unions to have less influence in what happens at the automaker amid Volkswagen’s ongoing emissions scandal.
QIA, which owns 17 percent of Volkswagen, is said to use a meeting scheduled today with automaker CEO Matthias Müller to “demand a scaling back of the role of the works council,” reported Reuters.
Volkswagen representatives denied the report, stating, “Co-determination (joint decision-making by corporate and labor representatives) and the (role of the) works council were not on the agenda of the talks.”
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.
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.)
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.
How The Volkswagen Dirty Diesel 'Flow Straightener' Really Works
Volkswagen announced a fix for some of its diesel engines in Europe last week that included fitting a “flow straightener” device to their 1.6-liter engines. The device provides something tangible for Volkswagen to trot out, but has been criticized for being a low-tech distraction from the actual fix.
The “flow transformer” serves a purpose to provide a more accurate reading by the mass air flow sensor, but its initial exclusion may point to how far the cheating reached. To understand the implications of installing such a device, we need to take a look at the role of the mass air flow sensor on fuel and emissions mapping.
Porsche-Piech Family 'Stand Behind' Volkswagen, Town Amid Crisis
Deciding that the company’s annual pre-Christmas party wasn’t a great time to be Wetblanket Wildes, the Porsche-Piech clan affirmed that it would be committed to Volkswagen amid its emissions crises (pl.) and said the company that the family-owned company would “master the situation,” according to Reuters.
The Porsche-Piech family, who owns a majority stake in Volkswagen’s parent company, told the automaker’s board and the town of Wolfsburg that the family has no intention of pulling the plug.
“I am firmly convinced that the city of Wolfsburg together with Volkswagen will master the situation and gain further strength,” Wolfgang Porsche said in a statement, according to Reuters. “The Porsche and Piech families stand behind Volkswagen and Wolfsburg as its headquarters.”
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.