2015 VW DieselGate

view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
VW CEO Mattias Muller In The Clear After Dieselgate Investigation

VW CEO Mattias Muller In The Clear After Dieselgate Investigation

Investigators find Muller had no previous knowledge of the cheats
VW CEO Mattias Muller In The Clear After Dieselgate Investigation

Here’s the thing about enormous, multi-national corporations – the right hand doesn’t always know what the left hand is up to. In this particular circumstance, it appears as though that insular characteristic has worked to the favor of Volkswagen’s new CEO, Mattias Muller, as it was recently revealed that Muller had no knowledge of the scandalous emissions trickery VW was perpetrating prior to the big public revelation last year.

That’s the news from Reuters, which cites a recent article from the German publication Bild am Sonntag. Bild am Sonntag reports that following an investigation by the U.S. law firm Jones Day, it was determined that Muller was in the dark about the diesel emissions cheat until the news went public on September 18, 2015. At the time, Muller was CEO at Porsche, but a week after the Dieselgate story broke, he found himself promoted to Chief Executive at VW, replacing ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn.

The news arrives as a modest bright spot in a cascade of negative revelations and accusations leveled at the beleaguered automaker.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Cheating The Cheaters – Making A Buck Off The $15B Dieselgate Settlement

Cheating The Cheaters – Making A Buck Off The $15B Dieselgate Settlement

Can two wrongs make a right?
Cheating The Cheaters – Making A Buck Off The $15B Dieselgate Settlement

As you’ve probably heard, Volkswagen is shelling out nearly $15 billion in a class-action settlement tied to the Dieselgate fiasco. A lot of the money will go towards compensating owners of the offending vehicles, including buybacks and sizable cash payouts. In fact, VW is handing out up to $10,000 on top of the vehicle’s pre-Dieselgate value. And while dealers put a stop-sale on cheating diesels when the story broke last September, the un-clean autos are still available on the used market. But before you rush out and pick up a bunch of old TDI’s in the hopes of making a profit through buybacks, there’s one caveat you should probably know about.

You see, the settlement actually defines two types of “Eligible Owners” – those who purchased the car before the Dieselgate story went public (September 18, 2015), and those who purchased the car afterwards. That means anyone who buys an eligible VW diesel now won’t get the full payout.

The buyback amount is calculated using the September 2015 edition of the National Auto Dealer Association (NADA) Used Car Guide, with adjustments made for mileage and equipped options. That much is unchanged for both types of owners

The additional cash restitution, however, is different. If you bought the car on or before September 18, 2015, the restitution is calculated to be 20 percent of the car’s value, plus $2,986.73, with a minimum of $5,100. If you bought the car after that date, you get half that much (10 percent of the car value, plus $1,529, with a minimum of $2,550).

For more information on the settlement details, click here.

Of course, it’s conceivable you could find a private seller with an eligible VW diesel, neglect to tell them about the settlement, and get the car for cheaper then the buyback price.

But that would be wrong.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Own Or Lease A Cheating VW Diesel? This Is How To Get Paid

Own Or Lease A Cheating VW Diesel? This Is How To Get Paid

Volkswagen got caught, now the customers get the money
Own Or Lease A Cheating VW Diesel? This Is How To Get Paid

Last week, it was announced Volkswagen must pony up a whopping $14.7 billion to settle claims stemming from last year’s Dieselgate scandal. The settlement applies to nearly a half million U.S. passenger vehicles equipped with “defeat devices” that enable “cheating” in emissions tests (for an overview of Dieselgate, click here). Included in the settlement are options for vehicle buybacks, lease termination, and equipment modification, plus hefty cash restitution (between $5,100 and $10,000). We’ve put together a comprehensive synopsis of the settlement proposal, including how to get paid if you own or lease an affected car.

The settlement covers 2009 to 2015 model year Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, including: 2013 – 2015 VW Beetle, 2010 – 2015 VW Golf, 2009 – 2015 VW Jetta, 2012 – 2015 VW Passat, 2010 – 2013 Audi A3, and 2015 Audi A3. It’s the largest auto-related class-action settlement in history, affecting roughly 15 percent of all new VW and Audi models sold in the U.S. during the relevant six-year timespan (475,000 of 3,099,678 total units sold, source: Wikipedia).

To make matters worse for VW, the settlement only applies to models equipped with a 2.0-liter diesel engine. The 80,000 or so vehicles equipped with a cheating 3.0-liter engine will be settled separately.

At the moment, the settlement proposal is still pending, with a preliminary approval court hearing scheduled for July 26. However, it looks more than likely the plan will go through, in which case notices will be mailed to inform owners and lessees of the settlement terms.

Read on for a breakdown of who is entitled to compensation, the options on the table, how much money you might get, and how to get it.

Continue reading to learn more about the massive VW settlement.

Read more
Volkswagen Settles For $14.7 Billion In The US

Volkswagen Settles For $14.7 Billion In The US

Buyback options, lease terminations, and investments in green vehicle technology are all part of VW’s penance
Volkswagen Settles For $14.7 Billion In The US

Volkswagen could be on the hook for a staggering $14.7 billion stemming from the diesel emissions scandal that rocked the German automaker last year. The announcement was made by Volkswagen and the Environmental Protection Agency with the amount expected to cover a variety of costs, including the buyback of cars from customers, end of early leases, modification of affected vehicles, and investments in zero-emission vehicle technologies and pollution mitigation, among other things.

All together, Volkswagen is going to spend $10.03 billion to compensate consumers under the program with the remaining $4.7 billion earmarked for the mitigation of pollution from the cars, as well as investments in green vehicle technology. The buyback and early lease termination options affect almost 500,000 vehicles, all of which fall on the 2009-2015 model years. Among the models included are 2.0 TDI versions of the Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat, and the 2.0 TDI version of the Audi S3.

It’s worth noting that the settlement reached by Volkswagen is with two parties, one with the United States and the State of California, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The amount is staggering on the surface, but given what it has to lose if no settlement was reached, it could be a lot worse for the German automaker if the lawsuits against it pressed any further.

Unfortunately, VW is still not free and clear because the settlement that was reached does not involve any of its 3.0-liter diesel cars, as well as any “pending claims for civil penalties,” or “any potential criminal liability.” In other words, the German automaker plugged a big hole with this settlement but it’s got a lot more holes to take care of, including whatever fines and lawsuits exist against the company in other parts of the world.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Read more
Car Infographics: The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

Car Infographics: The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

Car Infographics: The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
Car Infographics: The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
Car Infographics: The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
Car Infographics: The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

Volkswagen still finds itself in hot water over its diesel emissions scandal ominously nicknamed “Dieselgate” by industry analysts and journalists. Since 2009, certain Volkswagen Group vehicles with diesel engines from its five subsidiary brands – VW, Audi, VW Commercial, Skoda, and Seat – have come with computers with emissions test-dodging software that allows the vehicles to pass rigorous inspections while producing up to 40 times the legal level of nitrogen oxides during normal driving.

We’ve reported on the facts before, but now there’s an infographic that helps depict exactly what’s going on.

While you can read the graphic for yourself, the images show just how widespread Dieselgate extends. Approximately 11 million vehicles sold in most western countries have been pumping out the same amount of NOx gasses as all of the UK’s power stations, vehicles, industry, and agriculture combined. It’s easier to grasp after understanding 11 million vehicles equals roughly 11 percent of all the vehicles in the world. These are staggering numbers, to say the least.

Of the affected vehicles, the most common include the Audi A3, VW Beetle, Golf, Passat, and Jetta – all spanning from 2009 to 2015. Not surprisingly, Germany has the most effected cars, followed by Britain, France, Spain, and the U.S. While the U.S. is leading the charge against VW and its dirty diesels, other countries around the world have followed suit, with their respective governments and environmental agencies taking legal action against the automaker.

Volkswagen says it is still working out a permanent solution for fixing the affected cars. Until that time, owners of VW diesel vehicles can find if their car’s computer carries the defeat software by entering their VIN into VW’s websites. Check the infographic for details.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume; Best Gift For Halloween

Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume; Best Gift For Halloween

Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume; Best Gift For Halloween
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume; Best Gift For Halloween
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume; Best Gift For Halloween
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume; Best Gift For Halloween
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume; Best Gift For Halloween
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume; Best Gift For Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, and I’m sure a lot of you are already gearing up on what costume you plan on wearing for the occasion. I understand the feeling because I’m in the same boat as most of you are. Fortunately, I stumbled upon a low-cost, do-it-yourself costume that will not only highlight your creativity, but also your dry sense of humor.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the DIY Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Costume and it’s completely brilliant! For one thing, there’s no need to go to a costume store and rent out a garish wardrobe that’s probably been worn one too many times already. You also won’t need to have your costumes tailored because all you need is to buy some of the accessories that are needed to make this costume and use household items for the rest.

The deluxe smoke mask, for example, only costs $34.99. Then there’s the video game car costume that only costs $19.99 and the glow in the dark spider webs that sell for just $4.99. Add all that up and you’re still below $60. Some of the items on this DIY list should be easier to find too. Unless I’m mistaken, a toilet paper tube, a gas can, black spray paint, and a box shouldn’t be too hard to find, right?

Once you have all of them, making the actual costume can be done in as easy as three steps. Rest assured, showing up at a Halloween party dressed in this costume will surely invite a lot of conversations. Volkswagen owners may not find it funny, but for the rest of us, it’s definitely worth working, just for the sake of getting a few laughs out of it.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Volkswagen Scandal Inspires Book and Movie Deals

Volkswagen Scandal Inspires Book and Movie Deals

Volkswagen Scandal Inspires Book and Movie Deals

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal isn’t going away anytime soon now that the New York Times journalist Jack Ewing has secured a six-figure book deal with publisher Norton. To make things worse for VW, Hollywood is also getting in on the action. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions have acquired the rights to the forthcoming Ewing book that details the worst scandal to ever hit Volkswagen in its 78-year history.

Ewing’s book is expected to dive deep into the German automaker’s clean diesel scandal that has caused havoc to the company’s share prices and led to the resignation of longtime CEO Martin Winterkorn.

At this point, a lot of people have already heard about the VW scandal, which came to light when the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Volkswagen to pull 500,000 of its diesel cars off the road in the U.S. after discovering that the company had intentionally programmed its vehicles with emissions-dodging software. The illegal software kept car’s emissions numbers in line with U.S. regulatory standards during testing, but turned off during normal driving. As a result, these diesel cars were emitting up to 40 times the legal amount of harmful pollutants. Volkswagen later admitted that close to 11 million of its cars were rigged with the cheating software.

The backlash behind the company’s admission of guilt has been staggering. Volkswagen’s shares dropped 40 percent after the news broke and the company is expected to pay up to $18 billion in fines from the EPA. It’s also under investigation in its home country of Germany and there’s a distinct possibility that many of its executives could go to prison. Investigations around the world are also ongoing, so it’s likely more bad news is coming.

The movie deal is the latest black eye to hit Volkswagen. Details of the movie won’t be revealed until after Ewing’s proposed book is published, so at the very least, VW can take comfort knowing that the big screen adaptation of this scandal won’t hit theaters in the foreseeable future. Plus, the story isn’t even over.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained

Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained

Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained
Volkswagen Diesel Scandal Explained

By now, you’ve heard about Volkswagen’s #DieselGate or #DieselApocalypse – that the automaker somehow cheated the U.S. EPA into thinking its diesel-powered cars were cleaner than they were. Funny hashtags and aging political scandal references aside, the situation is dire, to say the least.

Volkswagen is facing upwards of $18 billion dollars in fines from the U.S. government and even jail time for many of its executives. Heck, some analysts are speculating VW will even stop selling its TDI diesel vehicles in the U.S. altogether.

So how did all this get started? Well, that’s an excellent question, but it’s only one of a gaggle of questions begging to be asked. Who at VW is responsible? Which vehicles are affected? What are VW dealerships to do? And how will VW fix this enormous mess?

I’ll attempt to solve these mysteries with answers from the experts, the EPA, and even Volkswagen. So keep reading for the rundown.

Continue reading for the full story

Read more