Embattled automaker Volkswagen reached a long-awaited settlement deal in principle with regulators this morning in a California courtroom.
Before presiding judge Charles Breyer, Volkswagen agreed to buy back afflicted diesel models from U.S. buyers, while compensating their owners from a newly created fund. The automaker would accept early termination on leased models, and fix some vehicles if requested by owners.
Dirty Volkswagen diesels equipped with illicit “defeat devices” could soon be flying off driveways and into oblivion.
Sources briefed on the matter told Reuters (via Automotive News) that the automaker will offer to buy back up to half a million 2.0-liter TDI models in the U.S. that emit illegal levels of smog-causing emissions.
They expect that Volkswagen will make the offer tomorrow before a federal judge. The company’s deadline for a U.S. fix is tomorrow, and a failure to act will result in a trial the automaker desperately wants to avoid.
On the eve of a key U.S. deadline for a diesel emissions fix, Volkswagen has reportedly agreed to pay all American owners of afflicted TDI models $5,000 each.
The deal, reported by Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, would allow the automaker to avoid going to trial this summer, according to Automotive News.
Volkswagen was facing an April 21 deadline to outline a comprehensive fix for the 580,000 U.S. diesel models equipped with “ defeat devices” designed to sidestep emissions regulations. The deadline was set in March by a U.S. District Court judge.
The device Volkswagen used to cheat on emissions tests sat on a shelf for years before the automaker employed it on its diesel-powered vehicles.
Audi engineers created the software in 1999, but it was not immediately used by Volkswagen, according to the German newspaper Handelsblatt (via Reuters).
Nope. Nuh-uh. Not gonna do it.
That was Volkswagen’s reaction to the idea of publishing its first-quarter results on time, according to Automotive News Europe, meaning the automaker’s current financial standing will be unknown until May 31.
The beleaguered company has bigger things to deal with in the near term — mainly, meeting the U.S. government’s April 21 deadline for a fix for vehicles caught up in the diesel emissions scandal. An April 21 deadline was issued last month by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, extending a missed deadline on a one-time-only basis.
Will there be a Green Mile edition?
The slow-selling Volkswagen Beetle is living on borrowed time, if a tweet by industry insider Autoline can be believed, but aside from nostalgia, why should the world mourn a vehicle that few buyers want?
In the wake of the disruptive and wildly expensive diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen needs sales in a big way, and they’re not getting them from the Beetle. Seven months out from the diesel revelations, Volkswagen’s sales are still dropping, and the Beetle’s popularity with buyers has all the power of, well, an original Beetle engine.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller is expected to cave to shareholder and labor pressure today and ask that his management board agree to trim their bonuses by 30 percent, insider sources have told Reuters.
Will it satisfy dealers and vehicle owners stuck with depreciated rolling stock? Not. Bloody. Likely.
The request, if it comes to pass, comes after workers unions and the state of Lower Saxony (Volkswagen’s home and its second-largest shareholder) protested the idea of senior management receiving full compensation while the diesel emissions scandal continues to rage.
Oscar-nominated documentarian and businessman Steve Kalafer is again putting on his producer hat in his latest project, called “Backfire: The Volkswagen Fraud of the Century,” a documentary that aims to find the truth behind the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, reports Automotive News.
And he’s the perfect person to do it: Kalafer is also a Volkswagen dealer.
Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess has a target on his back, now that the union representing the automaker’s workers has made its distrust of the company public.
Labor union IG Metall slammed the company’s management in a letter published on its website, stating the company was using the diesel emissions scandal as a way of cutting staff, according to Bloomberg.
The union said it wants assurances from Volkswagen brass that layoffs aren’t coming down the pipe, and implied that Diess’ job is in danger if he doesn’t agree to protect employee positions.
The Napleton Automotive Group of Illinois tread a well-worn path to its lawyers yesterday, this time filing a suit against Volkswagen for damaging its business model.
Three Volkswagen dealerships owned by Napelton filed the suit, which seeks class-action status, alleging the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal amounts to “criminal racketeering,” Automotive News has reported.
Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. will get more vehicles to sell this year and next, but there’s still no word on possible reparations or when to expect a diesel emissions fix.
At a meeting with dealers at the National Auto Dealers Association convention on Saturday, Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess promised to “redefine” the brand and boost shipments of popular models, Automotive News has reported.
The meeting aimed to calm the fears of increasingly frustrated dealers while providing some certainty about product strategy. Despite promising to carry on with the strategy favored by departed Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn, Diess’ reassurances didn’t win over everyone.
What seems to be a barely disguised Volkswagen SUV has been photographed driving near the automaker’s southern California test facility.
If it is what we think, it’s an important vehicle for the automaker. A three-row SUV has long been part of Volkswagen’s U.S. growth plan, but now it might serve as its survival plan.
Volkswagen’s slow roll-out of fixes for recalled diesel vehicles in Europe has hit a snag.
Authorities in Europe have put the brakes on a series of Volkswagen recalls after greater fuel consumption was allegedly recorded in models that have undergone the diesel emissions fix, Automotive News Europe is reporting.
Reports say that fuel economy suffered after the fix, forcing Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) to halt the repairs of 2.0-liter Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda models.
After missing today’s deadline for a U.S. emissions fix, Volkswagen has been issued a new one, and will now face a summer trial if the date passes without a plan to cure its diesel ills.
The extension of the deadline until April 21 was issued by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who had earlier set the March 24 deadline for the embattled automaker, Reuters is reporting.
The consensus of today’s meeting in California between Volkswagen, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board was that progress had been made in reaching an agreement on how to deal with 580,000 Volkswagen diesels equipped with pollution-causing defeat devices.
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