EXCLUSIVE: Volkswagen To Announce "TDI Goodwill Program" Next Week
Update: Added background.
Volkswagen of America, in a bid to regain the trust of current diesel owners, will announce a prepaid card campaign on November 9, TTAC has learned.
The program, detailed to dealers Thursday in preparation of its public announcement, is aimed at current owners of affected TDI models regardless of whether they bought their car new or used.
Two prepaid cards will be offered to those TDI owners. The first one will be for $500 and has no restrictions on where it can be used. The second, which may be valued between $500 and $750, will be limited to use at Volkswagen dealerships.
Volkswagen Dealer Sends Sympathy Card to TDI Owners
Volkswagen dealers are scrambling to keep their customers happy amid the emissions scandal and one has decided to send a TDI eulogy to customers along with a sales pitch. According to a post on TDIClub, Beyer Volkswagen started sending out the slightly hilarious notice sometime this week.
The cover shows a SportWagen with a 2015 date of death for TDI Clean Diesel technology. Directly opposite the picture is an apology that would seem fitting if it came from from an abusive spouse telling their significant other they are kind of sorry but it’ll be different next time. Promise.
Volkswagen Meeting With EPA To Discuss Diesel Emissions Program
Officials from Volkswagen will meet Thursday with the Environmental Protection Agency to explain to regulators how a “temperature conditioning” mode isn’t illegal, Reuters reported ( via Automotive News).
“(Auxiliary Emission Control Device) software does not alter emissions levels, but it ensures after a cold start (of the engine) that the catalytic converters quickly reach their working temperature and emissions cleaning takes effect,” VW said, according to Reuters.
In its notification to the automaker Monday, officials from the EPA specifically outlined how a “temperature conditioning” mode, specifically timed to the length of the EPA’s initial tests, reduced emissions up to nine times in cars equipped with VW’s 3-liter diesel engine.
Lutz: Pich's Brutal "Reign of Terror" Likely Cause of Diesel Scandal
Ferdinand Piëch, the man who ruled Volkswagen like the king of a Teutonic fiefdom, was likely the cause of the diesel scandal that’s erased billions of dollars of value from Volkswagen as it looks down the barrel of a gun loaded with further billions of dollars worth of recall work, fines and law suits.
Or, at least, that’s the claim made by Bob Lutz.
Former auto industry executive Lutz called Piëch’s leadership style “a reign of terror” before saying “The guy was absolutely brutal,” in his latest piece for Road & Track.
Tell us what you really think, Bob.
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.
Volkswagen USA Sales Actually Increased In October 2015, Powered By Big Rebates
Improve. Increase. Rise. Grow.
These are all words that can be applied to the status of Volkswagen’s sales in the United States in October 2015.
Yes, that Volkswagen. The brand which, it was revealed in late September, was intentionally cheating on emissions tests with four-cylinder diesel engines, powerplants found under the hood of approximately one-fifth of the vehicles sold by the company in America. The brand which has seen its share price tumble as more negative information is uncovered each day. The brand which was forced to set aside billions of euros to cover some of the costs of a massive, yet-to-take-place recall.
Yes, that brand, Volkswagen, sold 74 more new vehicles in October 2015 than they did one year earlier, a 0.2-percent year-over-year increase during a period in which the auto industry produced a 13.6-percent gain.
Porsche Cancels Sale of Cayenne Diesel; Audi Pulls Diesel Cars From Site
Porsche announced Wednesday that it would stop selling its Cayenne Diesel model after regulators announced those cars were allegedly installed with an illegal “cheat device” to fool emissions tests.
Audi removed all diesels vehicles from their online configurator, even though the Q7 diesel was not mentioned by the Environmental Protection Agency has having a “defeat device” installed. The luxury brand has not yet announced any stop-sale of its cars. Volkswagen’s Touareg TDI, which is equipped with the same engine as Porsche and Audi, is still currently listed as on sale.
Volkswagen Says It Lied About CO2 Levels In 800,000 Cars
Volkswagen on Monday said that internal testing revealed 800,000 Volkswagen cars may emit more carbon dioxide than reported and could cost the company $2.1 billion more in penalties.
New CEO Matthias Müller apologized for the deception.
“The Board of Management of Volkswagen AG deeply regrets this situation and wishes to underscore its determination to systematically continue along the present path of clarification and transparency,” he said in a statement.
Touareg Enthusiasts Confused About Emissions Violation
The EPA notified Volkswagen yesterday that certain models equipped with the 3-liter diesel engine were in violation of emissions regulations by being equipped with a defeat device. The list of affected models does not contain a range of production years as with the previous models that were found to be in violation, but only one specific year for each model.
Owners and enthusiasts are puzzled that the only year of the Touareg listed as affected is 2014 since the model did not change much from the preceding year. One theory is that the EPA has not listed all of the affected models yet and that more would be affected in the future.
Volkswagen, EPA Disagree on 'Defeat Device' in 3-liter Models
Responding to the Environmental Protection Agency’s notification that it had uncovered an illegal “defeat device” in some 3-liter, diesel Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche models, Volkswagen AG said in a statement Monday that it “wishes to emphasize that no software has been installed in the 3-liter V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner.”
The statement flies in the face of the EPA’s allegation that a “temperature conditioning” mode in the vehicles’ computers timed exactly to the length of the agency’s 75 initials emissions tests allowed the cars to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by up to 9 times.
UPDATE: Volkswagen Fitted Defeat Device to 3-liter Diesel SUVs, Sedans
The Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen on Monday that cars equipped with 3-liter diesel engines included an illegal “defeat device” designed to cheat emissions tests, broadening the already damning scanda l for the automaker.
The cars included on the notification were the 2014 Touareg, 2015 Porsche Cayenne Diesel and 2016 models of the Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5.
“Volkswagen has once again failed its obligation to comply with the law that protects clean air for all Americans,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA said.
Merkel: 'VW is Working On This With All of Its Power' - Including Asking Workers to Roll Over
On her weekly podcast, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel said Volkswagen’s scandal hasn’t harmed the German automobile industry’s image, but that the automaker would need to conduct its investigation with transparency to restore faith in the country’s industry.
“A lot will depend on how Volkswagen deals with the issue,” Merkel said, according to Reuters.
Separately, sources told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung ( via Reuters) that the automaker, under pressure from investigators, is offering amnesty to employees who reveal what they knew about its cheating devices. Amnesty won’t apply to top-level managers, according to the report.
Volkswagen Buying Back Bad Diesels From Dealers At Pre-crisis Prices
Volkswagen told dealers that it would buy back some of its unsellable, used diesel cars withering on their lots at fixed prices to help dealers cope during the automaker’s growing diesel scandal, Automotive News reported.
The cars that dealers are accepting on trade-in, but can’t sell due to their illegally polluting engines, have sat on lots while the automaker develops its plan to fix 482,000 cars sold in the U.S. with the illegal “defeat device.” Volkswagen has offered a $2,000 “loyalty discount” for any Volkswagen trade-in, including diesel cars.
Volkswagen Could Face Millions More In Fines For CAFE Fuel Credit Penalties
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey on Thursday sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking the agency to re-evaluate millions of fuel economy credits awarded to the automaker by the agency for cheating diesel cars.
The letter, which was addressed to Administrator Mark Rosekind, outlined the automaker’s exceedingly fuel efficient fleet average from 2008, which now could be in jeopardy after the automaker admitted it cheated emissions tests and could impact those cars’ mileage.
$900M Chattanooga Plant Upgrade Escapes Volkswagen's Axe
Volkswagen will still invest $900 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant despite company-wide cost cutting from its diesel disaster, the automaker announced Thursday.
The company had long planned on a mid-size, three-row SUV to compete in the U.S.. However, those plans were upended when the Environmental Protection Agency announced in September that Volkswagen’s diesels had been illegally polluting, and the company shed billions from its value in following days.
The three-row SUV, which may follow closely Volkswagen’s CrossBlue Concept, was announced last year for the Tennessee plant. Volkswagen said it would begin building the SUV at the end of 2016.