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A few months ago, the United States Department of Justice charged several Volkswagen executives for the emissions cheating scandal, and one of the men was Oliver Schmidt. He was arrested back in January before his flight to Germany, and since then had been detained in US soil.
Schmidt was the former person-in-charge of the company’s regulatory compliance office. The case was filed against six other executives. On Friday, August 4, he finally pleaded guilty in the US District Court in Detroit for breaking emission laws and misleading the U.S. Government. He pleaded to a single count of “conspiracy to defraud the US to commit wire fraud and violate the Clean Air Act”.
By doing so, Schmidt could be fined between $40,000 and $400,000, while facing up to seven years in prison, before being deported back to Germany. Seven years might sound like a long time but it is a much lighter sentence than he should have faced. All in all, he was charged with 11 felony counts, and that is equivalent to a total of 169 years in prison, in other words, he will be given a lifetime sentence in prison. As expected, the 48-year-old German native took a plea deal.Read the entire article Oliver Schmidt of VW pleads guilty in Dieselgate emissions case
German prosecutors are probing Porsche over fraud and false advertising related to emissions scandal
The so-called Dieselgate scandal may not be over after all, as carmakers – and their respective officials -- under the Volkswagen Group are still under fire from different government authorities. Just recently, it turned out that the office of the prosecutor in Stuttgart, Germany is placing under investigation a number of employees at German sports car maker Porsche AG and its subsidiary in the United States.
Due to their connection with the diesel engine emission scandal, some employees of sports car maker and its US arm are being probed by German prosecutors for fraud and false advertising. Stuttgart prosecutor Jan Holzner said in a statement that grounds have been established that these employees might have committed fraud and false advertising. Holzner didn’t furnish more details about the investigation.
As for Porsche, the German sports car maker said it was fully cooperating with German authorities, adding it had had proactively contacted prosecutors even before the authorities launched a formal probe.Read the entire article German prosecutors are probing Porsche over fraud and false advertising related to emissions scandal
German carmaker Volkswagen AG is now on the verge of closing the final chapters of its Dieselgate saga after Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has granted final approval to a settlement agreement between the company and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as regulatory agencies compensate customers affected by the group’s 3.0-liter TDI diesel engines linked to the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal in 2015.
This agreement became necessary because of the so-called Dieselgate scandal, which is a scheme executed by VW to sell around 590,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the US – covering model years 2009 to 2016 -- by making it appear that these units were cleaner than they actually were. Regulators have found out that VW employed a defeat device that helps these vehicles cheat on emissions tests. The latest settlement agreement is more or less similar to the one relating to VW’s 2.0-liter TDI engines.
Parties in the agreement include Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America, US DOJ, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Attorney General.Read the entire article Judge approves settlement deal for VW 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine scandal
Motorcycle maker Ducati might soon find itself under a new owner. This comes as its current parent, the Volkswagen Group, is reportedly mulling selling the Italian company to obtain funds needed to finance unprecedented costs, like those related to the so-called Dieselgate scandal.
As reported by Reuters, citing two sources privy with the matter, Ducati’s sale is being considered as VW is embarking on a strategic overhaul following the Dieselgate scandal. VW has been trapped in billions of dollars of fines and taxes after the scandal. Likewise, the group is now shifting its focus to electric cars and new mobility services. These have prompted the German company to streamline its operations, with the effect of limiting spending across the group. For instance, the VW brand is cutting thousands of jobs to save more money and thus create more funds for its future projects.
Of course, VW is still looking for more options to acquire more funds. Thus, according to Reuters, it has tapped Evercore, an investment banking boutique, to evaluate more options – including the possible divestment of the Ducati brand. Bologna, Italy-based Ducati has been owned by German premium carmaker Audi, which is part of the VW Group, since 2012. However, there had been concerns that Audi’s acquisition of Ducati was just a reflection of the passion of former VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech for the biker maker’s vaunted expertise on design and light engines. In actuality, the acquisition – worth EUR860 million ($935 million) in 2012 – was seen to having no economic logic or even industrial reason. In fact, Ducati is considered as one of VW’s non-core businesses, so selling the Italian company wouldn’t hurt the group in the long term.Read the entire article VW mulls selling Ducati to increase cash coffers following Dieselgate scandal
One of the executives at Volkswagen tagged in the so-called Dieselgate scandal has pleaded not guilty to a list of allegations surrounding the carmaker’s actions to cheat emissions regulations in the United States.
Oliver Schmidt is facing 11 felony counts in relation to VW’s efforts to deceive regulators in the US that its vehicles powered by its diesel engines were compliant with regulations. However, it was soon discovered that a cheat device was installed to hide the fact that the emissions levels of these vehicles were higher than certified. Schmidt is accused of knowingly taking in a conspiracy -- from May 2006 to September 2015 – to defraud the US and VW customers as well as to violate the Clean Air Act.
Filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the criminal complaint alleged that Schmidt knew that VW’s diesel vehicles released higher emissions levels when on the road than when undergoing emissions tests. The complaint added that Schmidt knew that discrepancy was caused by an intentional installation of software that could detect and cheat US emissions tests.Read the entire article VW executive Oliver Schmidt pleads not guilty to Dieselgate scandal
As the Dieselgate saga continues to be told, the stripping down chapter remains unfinished. Just very recently, the man who stripped down his 2010 Volkswagen Golf had his hatchback driven by an editor at Jalopnik. We don’t know exactly what the stunt that the man -- named Joe Mayer of Cincinnati – and Jalopnik wants to pull off, but it seems they are eager to show that the affected Golf subject to a buyback is indeed operable.
Here is how it started. Some owners were bragging about stripping down their Golf vehicles before taking them to VW for the buyback program, taking advantage of the term “operable” as defined by the program. Before going to his buyback appointment with Volkswagen, Mayer decided to strip down his 2010 VW Golf, took pictures of it and then posted it on his Instagram account.
His post caught the attention of Jalopnik, which then ran his own Diesel-gate strip-down story. Seeing the post, VW had a representative call Mayer and tell him that his appointment had been postponed. The representative didn’t say whether the carmaker would pay or would turn down Mayer for his stripped-down Golf. However, VW’s actions indicate its clear unwillingness to buy back a stripped-down vehicle. As Mayer said, the VW representative told him that stripping down of his Golf “wasn’t in the spirit of the buyback.”Read the entire article Diesel VW Golf owner drives stripped-down car through town to show that it still runs
As the Dieselgate scandal continues its run, German carmaker Volkswagen AG and supplier Robert Bosch GmbH each reached a settlement agreement with owners of VW, Audi and Porsche diesel-powered vehicles found to be cheating emissions tests. The agreement, once approved, would entail a payment of at least $1.6 billion to accommodate specific actions – repair, buy back or compensation – meant to settle the companies’ differences with affected customers.
VW’s settlement agreement covers around 78,000 VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles powered by the group’s 3.0-liter TDI V6 diesel engine. This agreement became necessary because of the so-called Dieselgate scandal, which is basically a scheme implemented by VW to sell around 590,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the US – from model years 2009 to 2016 -- by making it seem that these units were cleaner than they actually were. Regulators have found out that VW employed a defeat device that helps these vehicles cheat on emissions tests.
Under the 3.0-liter TDI settlement program, Volkswagen would pay up to $1.2 billion in benefits assuming that 100 percent of affected customers take part; all eligible Generation 1 vehicles are bought back; and Generation 2 vehicles are fixed with an Emissions Compliant Repair to bring them to same emissions standards as they were certified.Read the entire article VW and Bosch to pay at least $1.6B to customers over Dieselgate scandal
We are guilty. We are likely to hear Volkswagen AG utter similar words soon following an agreement with the United States Department regarding the so-called Dieselgate scandal. Matters regarding the Dieselgate scandal recently took an amazing turn after Volkswagen and the DOJ reached an agreement in which the German carmaker will enter a guilty plea to three criminal felony counts and pay billions of dollars in penalty.
As part of the agreement, VW will plead guilty to: a conspiracy to defraud the United States and its customers in the country; obstruction of justice for destroying documents related to the Dieselgate scandal; and using false statements about the vehicles’ compliance with emissions limits with the aim of importing them into the US. Aside from pleading guilty, VW will be placed under probation for three years. An independent corporate compliance monitor will also be appointed to supervise VW for at least three years. VW will also pay a criminal penalty of $2.8 billion.
The agreement was an offshoot of the so-called Dieselgate scandal, which is essentially a scheme implemented by VW to sell around 590,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the US – from model years 2009 to 2016 -- by making it seem that these units were cleaner than they actually were. Regulators have found out that VW employed a defeat device that helps these vehicles cheat on emissions tests.Read the entire article VW to plead guilty to 3 Dieselgate charges and to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties
Volkswagen Group’s dieselgate saga continues, but it appears the German company would be able to get out of trouble, but it would not be unscathed. This development comes as Volkswagen entered into an agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and regulatory agencies to compensate customers whose vehicles are powered by the group’s 3.0-liter TDI diesel engines implicated in the emissions cheating scandal in 2015.
The new settlement agreement covers 83,000 Volkswagen Group vehicles powered by the group’s 3.0-liter TDI V6 engines that have been found to have employed software that helps them evade the emissions testing process. No thanks to this software, these V6 diesel engines seem cleaner than they actually are. Parties in the agreement – coming in the form of a proposed Consent Decree – include Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America, US DOJ, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Attorney General. The latest settlement agreement is more or less similar to the one that covers Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter TDI engines.
Under the proposed Consent Decree, Volkswagen has agreed to recall and/or buy back the affected 3.0-liter TDI V6 vehicles from Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brands. The program will be separated into two parts.Read the entire article VW reaches agreement to recall and modify 3.0L V6 diesel engines involved in dieselgate scandal
If you’re an owner of any Volkswagen diesel vehicle covered by the recent court-approved buyback program in the United States and is considering stripping down your unit before turning it over to the carmaker, perhaps you shouldn’t do so, for now.
As it turned out, Volkswagen seems to not be happy about stripped-down diesel cars being resold to them, and is not keen on buying these vehicles back. Earlier this month it was reported that some owners of affected diesel vehicles were taking advantage of the term “operable” as defined by the buyback program. The buyback program defines an operable vehicle as one that can be driven under its own 2.0-liter TDI engine power.
This simply means that vehicle’s 2.0-liter TDI engine should still be able to function and drive the unit. Not a few believed that this could mean that even if an affected vehicle has been stripped down, it is still eligible for the buyback program as long as it can still be driven by its diesel engine. There was a claim that a customer was able to cash in from the program even if he removed the front fascia and headlights of his Golf GTI. Similar claims have also surfaced.Read the entire article VW is unwilling to buy back stripped-down Dieselgate vehicles in the US
It appears Volkswagen Group might be settling its way out of the so-called “Dieselgate scandal” in Canada – a similar path it has taken in the United States. This comes after the German carmaker agreed to settle nationwide consumer class claims covering 105,000 vehicles powered by its emissions-cheating 2.0-liter diesel engine in Canada.
Canada’s Competition Bureau launched an investigation and found that Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada did mislead its customers by promoting its vehicles – sold or leased in Canada – as powered by clean diesel engines with lower emission levels even cleaner than their gasoline counterpart. The Bureau found that certain diesel units from Volkswagen and Audi were able to pass applicable emissions tests thanks to installed software that could make it seem that these vehicles were emitting lower emission values during testing.
Audi and Volkswagen vehicles covered by the proposed settlement in Canada include: VW Jetta (model years 2009 to 2015); VW Jetta Wagon (MY 2009); VW Golf (MY 2010 to 2013, and MY 2015); VW Passat (MY 2012 to 2015); VW Beetle (MY 2013 to 2015); VW Golf Wagon (MY 2010 to 2014); VW Golf Sportwagon (MY 2015) and Audi A3 (MY 2010 to 2013, and 2015).Read the entire article VW Group agrees to settle Dieselgate scandal in Canada for CAD$2.1 billion
While Volkswagen is now on a steam to buy back models powered by its emissions-cheating diesel engine in the United States, owners of these vehicles were also trying to get back at the German carmaker. More likely, VW car owners are trying to get more of their money back.
In October this year, Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California green-lighted an agreement settling the differences between the carmaker and private plaintiffs. Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and certain affiliates entered in April into an agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and regulatory agencies to compensate vehicle owners whose units were affected by the so-called dieselgate scandal in 2015.
The agreement meant that owners could opt for either a buyback or a modification subject to government approval. Moreover, customers whose VW cars are leased could cancel the lease and return their units to the carmaker. Around 500,000 VW cars powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine in the US are affected. It was late 2015 when VW was found out to have been employing software that helps it evade emissions testing process and make its diesel engines seem cleaner than they actually are. The settlement is expected to cost the carmaker around $14.7 billion, of which around $10.33 billion will be used to buy back affected vehicles in the US.Read the entire article Owners strip off VW Dieselgate cars before bringing them in for the buyback program
It seems that German carmaker Volkswagen Group is running into more trouble in the United States as it has been accused of employing a different cheating software to earn good fuel consumption and emission ratings.
This comes as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) found around four months ago that one of Audi’s automatic transmissions employs a special software that could artificially lower emissions during testing, according to a report by German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Just recently, Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval to an agreement that would settle the differences between the carmaker and private plaintiffs affected by the so-called “Dieselgate” scandal that involves its 2.0-liter TDI engine. This agreement – reached between the carmaker, its affiliates entered US Department of Justice (DOJ) and regulatory agencies -- meant that owners could opt for either a buyback or a modification subject to government approval.Read the entire article Another emissions-cheating software discovered in Audi's automatic transmission
Owners of Volkswagen Group vehicles affected by the so-called “Dieselgate” – involving its 2.0-liter TDI engine in particular – would soon have a peace of mind after Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval to an agreement that would settle the differences between the carmaker and private plaintiffs.
In April this year, Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and certain affiliates entered into an agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and regulatory agencies to compensate customers whose vehicles were affected by the diesel emissions cheating scandal heavily publicized in 2015. This agreement meant that owners could opt for either a buyback or a modification subject to government approval. In addition, customers whose VW cars are leased are given the opportunity to cancel the lease and returning the vehicle to the carmaker.
Around 500,000 cars powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine in the US are affected. Judge Breyer has said that car owners are entitled to a substantial compensation from Volkswagen. Meanwhile, no compensation agreement has yet been finalized for the 100,000 cars equipped with the 3.0-liter diesel engine. It was late 2015 when VW was found out to have been employing software that helps it evade emissions testing process and make its diesel engines seem cleaner than they actually are.Read the entire article Judge approved VW's $14.7 billion settlement with regulators and owners diesel vehicles
German premium carmaker Audi is reportedly planning to buy back around 25,000 Audi Q7 SUVs powered by its 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine in the United States. The buyback should compensate owners in the US who bought Audi Q7s that failed to comply with exhaust emission standards.
According to a report by Der Spiegel, representatives from the German carmaker are currently holding discussions with authorities in the US about fixing 85,000 Audi vehicles powered by the emissions-cheating 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine. During preliminary discussions, it has been revealed that around 25,000 older generation cars from Audi cannot be fixed to make them fully compliant with pollution regulations. As such, Audi needs to buy them back.
Vehicles powered by the said 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine in the US include: VW Touareg (model years 2009-2016), Porsche Cayenne (MY 2013-2016), Audi A6 (MY 2014-2016), Audi A7 (MY 2014-2016), Audi A8, including the A8L (MY 2014-2016), Audi Q5 (MY 2014-2016), and Audi Q7 (MY 2009-2016). Initially, the US Environmental Protection Agency released a violation order for vehicles powered by this powerplant covering 2014-2016 model years.Read the entire article Audi reportedly plans to buy back 25,000 Q7 SUVs sold in US that failed emissions criteria
With the breakout of the recent emission scandal of Volkswagen (VW), it was revealed that the defeat devices were made some time ago. But recent reports from The Guardian and German newspaper Handelsblatt have found out that it was actually the engineers from Audi who came up with the first emissions defeat software in 1999. However, Audi did not use the cheating software.
The European carmaker ended up using the defeat devices when they cannot bring the nitrogen oxide emission levels below the regulatory requirements. It was in September 2015 when VW finally caved in and admitted manipulating the emissions test results of over 11 million diesel-powered vehicles, which include Audi, Porsche, Seat, Skoda, and VW brands.
VW and Audi did not comment on the reports yet since investigations about the emission scandal are still ongoing. Moreover, a substantial report about the findings will be issued by the end of the month.Read the entire article Reports say VW cheating software was built by Audi in 1999
Earlier this week, Volkswagen has finally entered into an agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and regulatory agencies to compensate the customers whose vehicles are affected by the diesel emissions cheating scandal that broke out to the public last year. The agreement was supposed to come out on March 24 but was delayed for a month after the carmaker asked for extra time.
The final agreement allows owners to choose either a buyback or a modification subject to government approval. On the other hand, those whose cars are leased have the opportunity to cancel the lease, returning the vehicle to Volkswagen.
About 500,000 cars powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine in the US are affected. According to Judge Charles Breyer, the car owners are entitled to a substantial compensation from Volkswagen. No specific figures have been disclosed yet. For the 100,000 cars equipped with the 3.0-liter diesel engine, however, no compensation agreement has yet been finalized.Read the entire article VW presents compensation agreement to resolve diesel emissions scandal
The effects of Volkswagen AG's emissions scandal are more far reaching than previously thought. Now, regulators are taking longer in examining new vehicle emissions before giving their approval, affecting all carmakers from around the world and resulting to delays in their vehicle launches.
Though it was only Volkswagen that was accused of emissions test manipulation, executives of several car manufacturers complain that US and European regulators are now extra careful with regards to emissions testing, an indication that these regulators are now a little untrusting with automakers as a group and not just the Volkswagen group.
Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG CEO, laments that while the certification process would have typically taken around four weeks before the emission scandal, it now takes three months to do it. This means that launching new cars will have to be delayed by two additional months.Read the entire article Aftermath of VW emission scandal: Automakers have to delay launches due to stricter regulations
To compensate for cheating on its emission tests, Volkswagen was recently asked by US regulators to develop electric vehicles (EV). Accordingly, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked the car maker to produce charging stations for EVs at its Chattanooga, Tennessee production plant.
Volkswagen has already come up with a few vehicles featuring electric or hybrid motors. However, the report from Welt am Sonntag did not specify if the agency was asking Volkswagen to build new or existing models. Presently, the EPA and Volkswagen are in talks to come up with an agreement to fix the diesel engines that exceeds the emission limits set by the US standards.
Volkswagen still has not resolved the emission issues of nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles in the US five months after the scandal was revealed to the public. According to a Volkswagen spokesman, negotiations with the EPA are still ongoing but the company will not yet disclose the contents of the talks.Read the entire article US EPA to Volkswagen: Build EV Charging Stations
Drivers in Europe affected by the diesel emissions scandal at Volkswagen won't be compensated, the German carmaker has announced. VW is planning to initiate a compensation program in the United States designed to pay off drivers affected by the scandal.
But VW said there were no grounds to launch such a program in Europe, even rejecting a demand from European Union industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska. Bienkowska recently wrote to VW chief executive Matthias Mueller, providing a list of demands, which include possible compensation for affected VW drivers in Europe.
According to VW, it is introducing a compensation program in North America since it had yet to agree with local regulators on how to fix affected vehicles, which means customers in that part of the world need to wait longer for a solution.Read the entire article VW rejects call to launch emission scandal compensation program in Europe
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