Volkswagen Dieselgate Archive

  • VW Dieselgate scandal to cost RM127 billion – report

    The long-running Dieselgate scandal that has blighted the Volkswagen Group is now expected to rack up an additional US$3 billion (RM12.7 billion) to a total of US$30 billion (RM127 billion), according to the German automaker. The additional sum is attributed to ‘negative special items’ which are expected to burden the operating result, due to the buyback and retrofit programmes for 2.0 litre TDI engines in North America.

    The models involved for the US market included the Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat, and Audi A3, which use the 2.0 litre turbodiesel mills. Despite the fallout, US-market sales of diesel Volkswagens actually charted a 12% growth in April this year, which amounted to 10.3 million diesel vehicles sold in that time. Last week, former VW engine development chief Wolfgang Hatz was arrested by German authorities in relation to Dieselgate.

    Hatz’s arrest follows the apprehension of another former Volkswagen engineer, James Liang, who was slapped with a 40-month prison sentence and a US$200,000 fine for his role in engineering the software for the emissions control defeat devices.

    Meanwhile, VW Group brand Audi said it has no knowledge of Hatz’s arrest, and will continue to cooperate with the authorities, said a report by Automotive News Europe. Before this, only one other person has been detained in Germany, in relation to Dieselgate – that person was Zaccheo Giovanni Pamio, former chief of thermodynamics in engine development at Audi.

  • Former Volkswagen engineer gets 40 months prison time, RM853k fine over “leading role” in Dieselgate

    A Volkswagen engineer has received a stiffer-than-expected sentence for his role in the Dieselgate saga – James Liang has been slapped with a 40-month sentence and a US$200,000 (RM853,032) fine for his role in the emissions scandal which has blighted the German automaker group over the past two years.

    Liang, 63, is the first person in the scandal sentenced to federal prison, according to The Detroit News. He helped devise the software for the emissions defeat devices, and subsequently struck a plea deal with prosecutors in September for his help in unraveling the scandal.

    “It sends a very strong message to them that they better stay safely in Germany. We haven’t seen many individuals being held responsible for corporate misconduct, so this is one of those rare cases,” said Peter Henning, Wayne State University law professor and former federal prosecutor.

    The sentence meted out was harsher than even the prosecutors recommended, which was for a three-year sentence and a $20,000 (RM85,303) fine. The tough sentence makes it more likely that VW executives indicted earlier this year will remain in Germany in order to avoid further action, the report added.

    “The conspiracy perpetrated a massive and stunning fraud on the American consumer that attacked and destroyed the very foundation of our economic system. Your cooperation and regret is noted, but it doesn’t excuse your conduct,” Cox told engineer Liang.

    Aiding the company’s recovery process will be the Strategy 2025 vision it unveiled in the middle of last year, which will see the company invest billions in the coming years into electrification, autonomous driving and mobility services.

  • Volkswagen diesel sales resume in US, account for 12% of April sales despite Dieselgate – report

    German automaker Volkswagen said that it has resumed sales of its diesel-powered passenger vehicles in the United States, with oil burners accounting for 12% of its US sales in April, according to Reuters. The marque put a stop-sale order to its diesel models following its admission that its diesels were installed with engine software that is not compliant.

    The German marque sold 10.3 million cars last year despite the fallout, representing a 3.8% growth from 2015’s 9.93 million units sold. In the United States, Volkswagen agreed to a settlement for the buying back of 85,000 vehicles with the affected 3.0 litre TDI V6 engines, while US $1 billion (RM 3.89 billion at the time) was set aside to compensate owners of cars with the EA189 2.0 litre diesel engine.

    The report added that Volkswagen bought back nearly 238,000 vehicles, and repaired 6,200 vehicles. So far, the repurchased cars have not been resold yet. Volkswagen approach towards efficient vehicles has since moved from its prior diesel focus to a new emphasis on electrification and autonomous driving, with the announcement of its Together – Strategy 2025 plan for the coming decade.

    Beyond the marque from Wolfsburg, US regulators granted Daimler AG approval to commence sales of its Sprinter commerical vans following extensive testing and discussion, a Daimler spokesperson told Reuters. Daimler is under investigation by the US Justice Department, EPA and a Stuttgart prosecutor in Germany for the emissions of its Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles, the report added.

  • Volkswagen Group sold a record 10.3 million cars in 2016, shrugging off the impact of Dieselgate

    What scandal? Volkswagen has sold a record 10.3 million vehicles in 2016, shrugging off the impact of the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal that surfaced in 2015. VW Group sales – which include Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda brands among others – rose 3.8% last year to pass the 10 million mark, from 9.93 million in 2015.

    The German giant’s record haul could mean that it ended 2016 as the world’s top carmaker by volume. Main rival Toyota, which ended 2015 above VW, is expected to announce 2016 sales figures next month. At the end of last year, the Japanese carmaker said that it expected to sell 10.09 million vehicles. We’ll see.

    VW’s US sales fell just 2.6% in 2016, but the big numbers were from China, where sales increased by 12.2%. As European car sales rose to its highest point since 2007, VW dominated its home continent. The group had a strong end to 2016 – when December global sales were up 11.8% year-on-year.

    Click to enlarge

    “2016 was a very challenging year for us. We made strides in resolving and overcoming the diesel crisis and at the same time initiated a fundamental change process with ‘Together – Strategy 2025’ to get Volkswagen ready for the future of mobility. Nonetheless, we managed to stabilise operating business in difficult conditions: the fact that we handed over more than 10 million vehicles to customers last year bolsters the Group and its brands as we head for the future,” said VW CEO Matthias Müller.

    “In 2017 we will be intensifying our efforts in the major technological fields of the future, in e-mobility, autonomous vehicles, the digitalisation of our products and our company. At the same time, though, we will not be neglecting today’s core business. Our Group brands will be putting almost 60 new vehicles on the road for their customers during the coming year,” Müller added.

    This will be a big year for the VW Group, as it welcomes core models such as the new Volkswagen Polo and Touareg, Skoda Yeti, Seat Ibiza, Porsche Cayenne, Audi A8 and Bentley Continental GT (click on the links for spyshots of the upcoming models).

    “We are also systematically continuing with our e-mobility offensive and will be launching more than 10 new models with electric drives in 2017/18,” Müller revealed. Cue Starship with Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.

  • Dieselgate: VW settles on buybacks for US, Canada

    The Dieselgate saga has taken another step towards a resolution in North America, according to a Reuters report. The Volkswagen Group has agreed upon a settlement to buy back more than 83,000 vehicles in the United States with affected 3.0 litre TDI V6 engines, while Canada will also see a buy back campaign for 105,000 vehicles with the affected 2.0 litre four-cylinder TDI engines.

    US market vehicles affected include the 2009-2012 VW Touareg and Audi Q7, 2013-2016 VW Touareg, 2013-2015 Audi Q7, 2013-2016 Porsche Cayenne and the 2014-2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, and Q5.

    For the US market, VW has agreed to pay more than US$225 million (RM1 billion) into a fund towards reducing diesel pollution, in addition to the buying back of the affected vehicles – this is on top of the US$2.7 billion the automaker group had agreed to pay for the offsetting of emissions from 475,000 2.0 TDI-powered vehicles.

    Another $2 billion (RM8.96 billion) will be allocated for the infrastructure and development of zero emissions vehicles over the next 10 years. The company has agreed to introduce at least three additional EVs to its line-up by 2020, including an SUV. Meanwhile, the company will pay $25 million (RM112 million) in fines to the California state air board.

    In Canada, the automaker will spend 2.1 billion Canadian dollars (RM7.04 billion) in a buy back campaign for the affected 2.0 TDI vehicles in the country, on top of the C$15 million (RM50.3 million) it will pay as civil penalty in Canada. Covered are the 2009-2015 Jetta, 2009 Jetta Wagon, 2010-2013 and 2015 Golf, 2012-2015 Passat, 2013-2015 Beetle, 2010-2014 Golf Wagon, 2015 Golf SportWagen and 2010-2013 and 2015 Audi A3.

  • VW agrees to pay $200m to US pollution reduction fund as part of 3.0 TDI dieselgate settlement

    It’s more money out of VW’s pocket, but it’s at least one more dieselgate settlement down. Reuters reports Volkswagen AG has agreed to pay more than US$200 million into a fund created to cut diesel pollution, as part of its agreement over about 80,000 3.0 litre diesel vehicles that emitted more than the US legal limit, according to a person briefed on the settlement.

    The agreement is expected to be announced this week, and is in addition to the $2.7 billion that VW had agreed to pay to offset emissions from about 475,000 2.0 litre diesel vehicles. Last Friday, US District Judge Charles Breyer said the parties have made “substantial progress and I am optimistic that there will be a resolution.”

    The parties in the weeks-long settlement talks are VW, the suing owners and the US Federal Trade Commission. A sticking point over a comprehensive deal has been how much the carmaker will agree to offer owners in compensation for getting vehicles repaired or selling them back. It’s reported that of the 80k 3.0 TDI cars, there will be a buy-back offer for about 20,000 older Audi and VW SUVs and a software fix for 60,000 newer Porsche, Audi and VW cars and SUVs.

    In June, VW agreed to put $2.7 billion over three years into a trust fund created to cut diesel pollution. The additional $200 million will be added to this fund. American states can use the money to replace and scrap or retrofit older vehicles with new models equipped with better exhaust cleaning technology.

    According to settlement documents, eligible vehicles include tugboats, ferries, freight switchers, transit buses, medium and heavy duty trucks, airport ground support vehicles and ocean going vessels. Schools using buses that are 10 years old or older can use VW money to buy new models, for instance.

    With this latest $200m, VW has so far agreed to spend up to $16.7 billion to resolve diesel emissions cheating allegations in the US. Wolfsburg is also expected to face billions in fines as part of a separate potential settlement with the Justice Department to resolve an ongoing criminal investigation and a civil suit alleging civil violations of the Clean Air Act.

    In June, the German carmaker agreed to spend up to $10.03 billion and offered to buy back 475,000 2.0 litre vehicles and offer compensation of $5,100 to $10,000 per owner. VW began buying back vehicles last month and there are reports of owners bringing stripped out cars to dealerships.

    The 2.0 TDI cars have software that allowed them to evade emissions rules in testing and emit up to 40 times the legally allowable emissions in normal driving. The 3.0 TDIs have an undeclared auxiliary emissions system that allowed them to emit up to nine times allowable limits. Since late 2015, VW has been barred from selling any diesel cars in the US.

    Separately, parts supplier Bosch is expected to settle a lawsuit filed by US dieselgate affected owners for more than $300 million. Owners sued the German vendor in 2015 claiming the company helped the “defeat device” software used by VW to evade US emissions tests. The lawsuit claimed that Bosch was a “knowing and active participant” in the cheating, to which the company rejected as “wild and unfounded.”

  • Dieselgate: VW to apply updates to 1.6 TDI engine, but insists defeat devices “compliant with European law”

    volkswagen logo wm

    A new round of recalls for Volkswagen’s 1.6 litre diesel engine is forthcoming, following its official approval by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) in Germany. This latest episode involves 2.6 million cars in Europe specified with said diesel engine, including models from Audi, Seat, Skoda, as well as the group’s core brand, Volkswagen.

    As with recalls prior, owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted by the company, and the changes will be applied in weeks to come, with the associated costs fully borne by the Volkswagen Group. In an interesting turn of stance, the automaker group said that the software which caused its products to fall foul of emissions regulations actually does not violate European law, according to a Reuters report.

    “The software contained in vehicles with a EA189 engine in the view of Volkswagen represents no unlawful defeat device under European law. The efficiency of the emissions cleanup system will not be reduced in those vehicles which, however, would be a prerequisite for the existence of an unlawful defeat device in the legal sense,” VW said in an email cited by Reuters.

    Volkswagen Touareg TDI

    Although VW believes that the original software is compliant, it says it is following orders and refitting cars out of goodwill. “Volkswagen wants to – in the special interest of customers – cooperate constructively and cooperatively hand in hand with the regulators as well as with the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority. This intensive cooperation should not be burdened by a contentious dispute,” it said.

    Separately, Volkswagen was reported as denying views held by Germany’s Federal Environmental Agency and other health lobbies, that nitrogen oxides are harmful to human health and the environment. “A reliable determination of morbidity or even fatalities for certain demographic groups based on our level of knowledge is not possible from a scientific point of view,” VW said.

    This update for the 1.6 litre diesel engine is the latest in a long line of episodes concerning the Volkswagen Group’s run-in with regulators, in light of discoveries that illegal software was used to circumvent emissions laws both in Europe and in the United States.

  • Audi automatic transmission found to have emissions cheating device in the United States – report

    2015-audi-a6-1.8-driven-local-review- 037

    We thought we’ve seen the worst of Volkswagen’s ‘dieselgate’ emissions cheating scandal, but if the latest revelation from Bild am Sonntag is true, the carmaker group could be back in hot soup. According to the German news daily, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in the United States found a defeat device in an Audi model fitted with an automatic transmission last summer.

    The software, claimed to lower carbon dioxide emissions if the car detected it was being tested for emissions, is also said to have been fitted to both petrol and diesel vehicles in Europe, and is separate from the device that was the centre of the original scandal last year.

    The report stated that the newly-found device monitored steering wheel movement to detect if it was being tested. If the wheel was not being turned – indicating that it was being tested in a laboratory – then a special gear-shifting programme would be activated to produce lower carbon dioxide emissions than in normal driving. The programme would be switched off if the wheel was turned more than 15 degrees.

    Bild am Sonntag also said that Audi stopped using the software in May, just before CARB discovered it in an older model, adding that the company has already suspended several engineers as a result. The paper also stated that an Audi spokesman had declined to comment, saying that Ingolstadt is currently in talks with US and California regulators to fix 3.0 litre diesel models, which also feature a defeat device.

    Automotive News said that CARB had no immediate comment regarding the Bild‘s report, and Audi was not immediately available to comment.

  • Volkswagen to end WRC programme over Dieselgate


    Volkswagen is set to announce its departure from the World Rally Championship (WRC), following Volkswagen Group’s cost-cutting measures that have seen Audi confirm its withdrawal from the World Endurance Championship (WEC) by the end of the year, according to an Autocar report.

    It has been suggested that chairman Matthias Mueller will announce the end to the brand’s successful WRC programme as a direct result of the financial strain placed on the company in the aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal. The announcement is expected to be made prior to the final round of the WRC season in Australia on November 17.

    Suggestions that Mueller might grant a one-year grace period for the termination of Volkswagen’s WRC programme were quashed by sources, saying that this decision is likely to be taken in a similar manner to Audi’s, which is to be effective by the end of 2016, not 2017. Audi’s departure from top-flight endurance racing will see it focus its efforts in Formula E, increasing its involvement in Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport to a full, factory-backed programme.

    “It is disappointing. The guys at Volkswagen have done a great job,” said a separate source involved in Volkswagen Group Motorsport operations. Since joining the WRC as a fully manufacturer-backed entry in 2013, Volkswagen has racked up four constructors’ titles and four drivers’ championships back to back.

  • Volkswagen ordered to compensate Audi Q5 owner in Spain over diesel emissions defeat device – report


    The Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal could have repercussions beyond the United States. A Spanish court ordered two Volkswagen Group subsidiaries in Spain on Wednesday to pay €5,000 (RM23,100) to an owner of an Audi Q5, which was fitted with a defeat device used to pass emissions tests.

    Automotive News reported that the buyer was seeking compensation after he found out in the wake of “dieselgate” that his car, purchased in 2013, contained software which made the vehicle appear cleaner in exhaust emissions testing than it really was, according to the court ruling.

    As a result, the Spanish court in the city of Valladolid imposed the fine on Valladolid Wagen and Volkswagen España, equivalent to 10% of the car’s value. The decision marks the first time a Spanish judge has ruled in favour of a buyer of a Volkswagen Group car with the defeat device.


    The report stated that the ruling could open the door to a wave of new consumer lawsuits, with Spanish consumer organisation OCU calling for other owners of affected cars to join more than 5,500 others in filing a class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen. The Spanish high court also said last October that it had begun investigating Volkswagen vehicles in the country.

    The “dieselgate” fiasco was brought to the attention of the world after Volkswagen admitted in September last year to secretly installing defeat devices in 11 million diesel-powered vehicles worldwide in order to cheat emissions testing, particularly in the US. On Tuesday, a US judge approved a US$14.7 billion (RM61.9 billion) settlement between Volkswagen and regulators there.

    A source at Volkswagen Audi España told the news agency that the carmaker would appeal the latest ruling.


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Last Updated 01 Sep 2018