Volkswagen is in trouble with just about everybody on the f'ing planet

MacGuffin

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No surprise there. It has a reason why there are a couple of lawsuits against cities here at the moment, forcing them to forbid diesels from entering towns because car makers and the government apparently aren't doing enough.

It's also very clear now that VW isn't the only one (or the worst) who cheated with Diesel emissions - but unfortunately they were the only ones dumb enough to do it in the USA. On the long run, however, the whole Diesel affair might turn out to have had a positive effect in hindsight because it opened the eyes of the public to a subject the carmakers would have rather swept under the rug.

So by cheating and being caught doing so, VW might have actually done the world a favour - involuntarily of course ;)
 

SirEdward

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It was clear that VW wasn't the only one cheating when none of the competitors has said anything as VW was being smashed in the face with dieseslgate, none tried to take advantage of the thing to show how clean their diesels were and to get good publicity. No, they all remained very much silent.

Why?

Exactly.
 

bone

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So by cheating and being caught doing so, VW might have actually done the world a favour - involuntarily of course ;)
just like those priests showed that religion is bullshit by raping those children...
 

calvinhobbes

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I saw something recently, can't quite remember where, that basically said that your iPhone's journey by ship from China to Europe or America generates less CO2 than your drive to the store to buy it. Per phone that is. Makes sense.
Except that iPhones are shipped by air. Wouldn't want so many small and pricey items to be stuck on a boat for that long. ;-)
 

93Flareside

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Volkswagen is in trouble with just about everybody on the f'ing planet

It?s just the old German way of population control. :p

We all thought it was only in the 1940s.
 

Spectre

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GRtak;n3541636 said:
I personally think this is a bit harsh.
Nope. Federal felony plus process crimes. He got off easy. And I'm certain that his sentence could be reduced if he were to testify against the other VW execs that we're pretty sure had greater responsibility. Betcha he didn't think he'd be going to jail and that our prosecutors were bluffing.

So, all you people that said nobody would be going to jail over this? Yeah, about that...
 
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GRtak

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I have no problem with the man going to jail for his involvement with the crimes he and his cohorts committed, but as you noted, he was probably not the one that was chiefly responsible. His not speaking up when he was given the order is what got him in trouble, now he just needs to co-operate on the testimony that will never take place in this country. Germany will not extradite it's citizens.

In my opinion, he should have received a 4 year sentence.
 

Spectre

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GRtak;n3541924 said:
I have no problem with the man going to jail for his involvement with the crimes he and his cohorts committed, but as you noted, he was probably not the one that was chiefly responsible. His not speaking up when he was given the order is what got him in trouble, now he just needs to co-operate on the testimony that will never take place in this country. Germany will not extradite it's citizens.
That's what international police warrants are for. Sure, Germany won't extradite - but most of Europe will cheerfully do so. Those execs will never be able to leave Germany to visit the rest of Europe and will have severely limited options for other foreign destinations. The former execs may just retire to the countryside, but the current remaining execs will be in the position of *never* being able to attend any non-German international auto shows or conferences or anything else - something very unusual in the auto industry. The reputation of VW as a criminal enterprise that happens to make cars would eventually be cemented as a result

Oh, and after a while? The US can seize their NA operations as assets belonging to a criminal enterprise if the responsible parties continue to hide in Germany. The US has done it before.
 
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Spectre

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Oh wow... just.... wow. Or: Meet The New Führer, Same As The Old Führer. Source: http://www.dw.com/en/german-scientis...16393-xml-atom

German scientists involved in toxic diesel fume tests on humans


Humans were exposed to the toxic fumes in experiments requested by a group funded by German carmakers, according to media reports. The shocking revelation came after tests on monkeys became public over the weekend.

Reports by German newspapers Stuttgarter Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung said humans had been exposed to a gas found in diesel fumes during an experiment "sometime between 2012 and 2015" requested by a group funded by German carmakers.

Auto manufacturers said they had an interest in proving that the use of modern technology made diesel emissions more or less harmless.

The tests were requested by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT) — a now defunct organization founded by German carmakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.

The experiments focused on "short-term nitrogen dioxide inhalation by healthy people," according to the newspapers. An Aachen-based university hospital then examined 25 people after they inhaled varying amounts of the gas over several hours.

The experiments were reported on after recent revelations of an experiment where — in equally inacceptable tests — monkeys were made to inhale the toxic gas.

Not to be tolerated

Reacting to the accusations, Volkswagen said in a statement "we are convinced that the scientific methods chosen at the time were wrong."

Daimler said Sunday it was "shocked by the extent of those studies and the way there were carried out." "We strongly condemn the tests," the company said, adding that it had had no say in the testing method and the measures taken by the EUGT were "against Daimler's values and ethical principles."

The Stuttgart-based carmaker said it had launched an investigation into the tests on monkeys and humans which it considered "superfluous and repulsive."
Holy fuck..... Seriously???????? What's next, "mobile labs" where the subjects sit in the back and the 'test gas' is pumped in to the sealed compartment?
 
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Spectre

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It's BAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/15/business/winterkorn-volkswagen-emissions-scandal.html

Former VW C.E.O. Martin Winterkorn Is Charged by Germany in Diesel Scheme

BERLIN — German prosecutors on Monday filed aggravated fraud charges against Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive of Volkswagen who led the company when it deceived regulators about its vehicles’ diesel exhaust levels.

The charges are the first criminal indictment in Germany against an individual in connection with the diesel scandal, which has cost Volkswagen tens of billions of dollars since it came to light in 2015.

In charging Mr. Winterkorn and four Volkswagen managers whose names were not released, the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig tied the five to events reaching as far back as 2006, when the deception was initially conceived.

The timeline is significant because it rejects initial claims by Volkswagen that senior management became aware of the so-called defeat devices used to cheat emissions tests only after being confronted by the United States environmental authorities in 2015.

The criminal charges are an important development in how the German courts are dealing with the fallout of a scandal that has shaken Germans’ trust in their car industry. The Dieselaffäre, as it is known in the German press, has been widely debated in Germany.

They also show how the diesel scandal continues to hang over Volkswagen, the world’s No. 1 maker of vehicles last year. Even after paying $33 billion in fines and settlements related to the scandal, the carmaker continues to face legal challenges and investigations from authorities in the United States and Germany.

The indictment on Monday includes charges of breach of trust, tax evasion and false certification, either directly or by aiding in such crimes. If convicted, Mr. Winterkorn could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

The prosecutor’s office also said it would seek repayment of bonuses, the highest of which was nearly $12.5 million.

Mr. Winterkorn, prosecutors said, continued to conceal the emissions fraud even after he was told that outsiders were questioning the company’s emissions data. The prosecutor’s office also charged Mr. Winterkorn with approving a useless software update in 2014 at a cost of 23 million euros (around $26 million) despite knowing that it would not eliminate the defeat devices.

More than nine million cars with faked emissions tests were licensed in Europe and the United States, the indictment said.

Mr. Winterkorn, 71, stepped down as Volkswagen’s chief executive in 2015, and has previously denied any wrongdoing. His lawyer, Felix Dörr said on Monday that the prosecutor’s office had not given his team sufficient access to the files for it to comment on the charges.

No arrest warrant was issued. Mr. Winterkorn is under indictment in the United States, and is unlikely to leave Germany for fear of being extradited. (Germany does not extradite its citizens.)

Volkswagen declined to comment on the charges, saying in a statement that these were investigations against individuals.

In March, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission sued Volkswagen, accusing the company of defrauding American investors. The commission said Mr. Winterkorn had been aware of what it called a “massive” emissions fraud as early as November 2007. Similarly, a civil trial looking at the company’s responsibility toward investors has been taking place in court in Braunschweig since October.

In May 2018, the Department of Justice indicted Mr. Winterkorn and several other Volkswagen executives on charges that they conspired in the rigging of diesel vehicles to feign compliance with federal pollution standards.

Klaus Ziehe, the senior public prosecutor in charge of the case, praised the collaboration between the Department of Justice and his office.

“The Americans were on the case earlier than us, so we profited from their experiences,” he said. “Conversely, we shared with them the results of official questioning of people involved with the case.”

The prosecutor’s office also said it was still investigating 36 other individuals who could face charges, though no timeline was given. Other than Mr. Winterkorn, who is considered a public person, none of the other four people charged — or the three dozen investigated — were named because of German privacy laws.

The 692-pages outlining the charges still need to be approved by a Lower Saxony state court, in what is largely seen as a formality. Both the prosecutor’s office and the Lower Saxony court are based in Braunschweig, near Wolfsburg, where Volkswagen’s headquarters are.
Supporting links and graphics at original link.

So even Germany looks interested in sending people to jail for this.

And apparently the EU is looking at the German motor conglomerates for collusion (really more like conspiracy) to block emissions laws:

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/289075-bmw-vw-daimler-accused-of-colluding-to-block-emissions-controls
BMW, VW, Daimler Accused of Colluding to Block Emissions Controls

The EU has sent a letter to BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen, informing all three companies that it believes they colluded to limit the development of technology to control diesel emissions from 2006 – 2014. This is entirely separate from the issues related to the defeat devices installed on VW cars over much of the same time period. The letter states that the alleged collusion is being investigated as a violation of competition law, not environmental law.

According to the letter, the EU believes these three companies colluded not to bring different diesel treatment options to market. Currently, diesels inject urea (AdBlue) into the exhaust gas stream. The EU writes that “In the Commission’s preliminary view, BMW, Daimler, and VW coordinated their AdBlue dosing strategies, AdBlue tank size, and refill ranges between 2006 and 2014 with the common understanding that they thereby limited AdBlue-consumption and exhaust gas cleaning effectiveness.”

The companies also stand accused of colluding not to introduce ‘Otto’ particle filters. These reduce harmful particle emissions from exhaust. The letter states that “In the Commission’s preliminary view, BMW, Daimler, and VW coordinated to avoid, or at least to delay, the introduction of OPF in their new (direct injection) petrol passenger car models between 2009 and 2014, and to remove uncertainty about their future market conduct.”

Taking these actions harmed consumers, the EU letter states, by denying them the right to buy less-polluting cars. One of the facts that emerged from the VW debacle was that EU groups had suspected companies were flouting diesel regulations for years, paying lip service to the idea of improving pollution but not actually hitting the milestones they claimed to be. While I can’t speak to how diesels were positioned in Europe, VW leaned on ‘green’ marketing in its messaging for diesel vehicles in the United States.

TDI was widely marketed as “clean” diesel.

While these efforts don’t involve price-fixing or illegally dividing a market between different companies, they may still violate EU law on cartel activities. It is illegal to make agreements in the EU that would limit or control production, markets, or technical developments. Cooperation that results in an improved final product through the sharing of technical know-how is explicitly permitted.

It was Daimler that informed the EU about the collusion in the first place, Reuters reports, which would seem to cast the EU’s letter in a more serious light. If Daimler, BMW, and VW were colluding to keep cleaner technology off the market at the same time VW was actively cheating and shipping all of its diesel vehicles with defeat devices, it would indicate a profound level of bad faith from automotive manufacturers for nearly a decade. The VW scandal may be a bit in the rearview mirror, but it hasn’t entirely retreated from public memory.

If found guilty, the EU could impose a fine as high as 10 percent of global turnover (total revenue).
 
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