Volkswagen Asks For Trial Delay After Lawyer Mentions Monkey Gassing Scandal In Netflix Documentary
Late last month, it was revealed that Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler funded scientific studies to help promote the idea that modern diesel engines run cleaner than older diesels. It turned out the studies involved forcing monkeys to breathe diesel fumes in an airtight chamber, prompting one lawyer on the diesel owner’s side of the scandal to draw comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Now, Volkswagen says the remarks could bias the jury in its latest Diesel Gate trial cases.
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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.
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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.
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.
Volkswagen’s problems related to its diesel emissions scandal isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it might have just gotten worse. According to a press release issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, VW is once again being tagged with a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act after it was reportedly discovered that its bigger diesel engines also had devices that were installed to cheat emissions tests.
This discovery could lead to another bruising black eye to the German automaker and it figures to get even worse now that Audi and Porsche have been thrown into the mix. The new NOV alleges that Volkswagen, as the parent company of VW, Audi, and Porsche, installed a similar defeat device in a number of 2014 to 2016 model year VW, Audi, and Porsche light duty diesel models equipped with 3.0-liter six-cylinder engines. The objective of these defeat devices is similar to that found on the four-cylinder diesel models and that’s to intentionally mask the engine’s emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) during emissions tests. In real-driving, these engines were found to emit up to nine times the EPA’s standard.
The NOV also pointed to the discovery of these new violations, which happened after the first NOV for its 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engines was issued to Volkswagen back in September 18, 2015. The EPA followed that up by testing all 2015 and 2016 light duty diesel models available in the U.S using updated testing procedures specifically designed to detect these defeat devices. These tests, which were performance by the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory, CARB’s Haagen-Smit Laboratory, and Environment Canada’s River Road Laboratory, unearthed more models that had their own defeat devices.
Among the models affected in the new NOV include the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5. The NOV is approximating that over 10,000 diesel passenger cars already sold in the US since MY 2014 are affected, as are an unknown number 2016 models.
For its part, Volkswagen has denied any knowledge of this new cheating fiasco, explaining that the cars the EPA is referring to now "had a software function which had not been adequately described in the application process." This function, according to VW, is not capable of altering emissions characteristics in a "forbidden manner."
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Yet another Guinness World Record for fuel economy was recently announced, this time coming from the U.S. and the folks over at VW. The latest is that a 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI managed to set a new benchmark in the category of “lowest fuel consumption – 48 U.S. contiguous states for a non-hybrid car” by eking out 81.17 mpg, besting the previous record of 77.99 mpg. The super-efficient run even managed to beat out the standing hybrid vehicle record of 74.34 mpg.
The Golf managed to visit each of the 48 contiguous states in an 8,233.5-mile mega-journey that lasted 16 days and burned just 101.43 gallons of diesel fuel. Only $294.98 was spent on fill-ups.
The record-setting vehicle set off from the Volkswagen of America headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, on Monday, June 22nd, returning a little over two weeks later on Tuesday July 7th.
At the wheel was Wayne Gerdes, an automotive journalist and the founder of cleanmpg.com. Gerdes has extensive experience in the realm of hypermiling, having set mileage records in more than 100 different vehicles, including the previous record of 77.99 mpg set in 2013 driving a 2013 VW Passat TDI. Bob Winger, an electronics engineer involved in energy and conservation projects, joined him as co-driver.
The car was outfitted with Goodyear low rolling-resistance Fuel Max tires, a Linear Logic ScanGauge II device to measure fuel economy, G4 smartphones from LG and a GPS nav system from Garmin to meet the Guinness tracking requirements.
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After a brief resurgence a few years ago, station wagons are once again getting to be a rare sight here in the U.S., and the market for performance station wagons is even slimmer. Looking for a diesel performance wagon? Forget about it… or move to Europe. That’s where these diesel-burning, corner-carving, grocery-getting cars seemingly grow on trees, and the latest example of such is the all-new Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant, which makes its debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show as the ultimate thumb to the nose of station-wagon lovers in America.
If you’re not familiar with this model, just imagine a Golf Sportwagen with equal parts TDI and GTI bringing all of the suspension and styling goodies of the beloved GTI along with the performance and fuel economy of TDI. It’s highly unlikely that VW has any plans of offering its new Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant here in the U.S., so scroll down to see what we’re missing.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant.
The Volkswagen Golf has succeeded in ways very few of its contemporaries have. It’s in its seventh generation for crying out loud! That’s more than what other models can say for themselves. Ever since it was released in 1974, the Golf has built a reputation as the godfather of the modern-day sports hatch. But even with its age, the Golf is still a strong presence in the hatchback market, so much so that the model is still turning heads wherever it goes. The 2015 Golf TDI is the latest in a series of new Golf models that are now available in the market. Yes, it’s got a diesel engine but it’s a new diesel engine. That counts for something.
It was also the recipient of aesthetic tweaks that makes its design fit for the times. Some might even say that the Golf looks better than ever before, which is about as big of a compliment as you can give to the hatch that most people believe blazed the trail for its kind.
Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI
Volkswagen appears to be listening to the tiny, but obnoxiously loud, voices of the forum goers and automotive journalists. At this year’s New York Auto Show, they displayed this shiny new Golf SportWagen Concept with a new 2.0-liter TDI engine, three pedals and 4Motion AWD.
This latest machine may have “concept” in its name, but there is very little about this car that won’t make it to production. Volkswagen has already stated it will be coming to U.S. shores as a replacement for the near ancient Jetta SportWagen. The new Golf SportWagen will provide a modern model for U.S. buyers that is underpinned by the new MQB architecture (the current Jetta SportWagen is actually still a fifth-gen car underneath).
VW has also confirmed the powertrain options will include the new 1.8-liter turbo gasoline engine and the updated 2.0-liter TDI diesel. Shifting will be accomplished by either a traditional manual transmission or a choice of automatics. What is not confirmed, and what makes this car a “concept” is that sweet 4Motion all-wheel drive system like you get in the Golf R. VW is stating that it may come, but no firm plans have been made yet.
Start those forum threads now, kids.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept.
After taking care of the standard seventh-gen Golf and the GTI version, German tuner, ABT Sportsline, decided to do the same with the GTD version.
It’s no surprise that the updates offered for the GTD version are nearly identical to the ones offered in the standard version and include updates to the exterior and some extra horses under the hood.
Most of the work was made under the hood where the tuner installed its ABT Power kit that increases the four-cylinder’s output up to a total of 210 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque - up from the standard 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
To give the Golf the look to match the added power, ABT Sportsline also offers an aerodynamic kit and a set of aftermarket wheels. Also, for a better engine sound, the rear pipes were replaced with new ones.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf GTD by ABT Sportsline.
Alongside the seventh-generation Golf, Volkswagen has also dropped one of the world’s most fuel-efficient family cars – the new Golf BlueMotion – onto the market. The model is about 15-percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, but at the same time it also offers the same level of practicality, comfort and safety as a standard Golf.
The new model was previewed by the Golf BlueMotion Concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and, as no surprise, the production version is basically identical.
When compared to a standard Golf, the BlueMotion version features a lightweight design and it is more aerodynamic, thanks to a lowered ride. The exterior updates combine with a highly efficient diesel engine to ensure out-of-this-world fuel economy.
The model is now on sale and on the British market and is relatively affordable for such an efficient car.
Click past the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion.
VW is further expanding the seventh generation Golf lineup with the addition of the new GTD version. Set to be unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the new Golf GTD will be put on sale immediately after with a starting price of €29,350 (about $38,700 at the current exchange rates).
The new-generation GTD continues a tradition started way back in 1982 when Volkswagen revolutionized the market with the unveiling of its first turbo-diesel Golf. The seventh-generation Golf GTD is the most powerful diesel Golf ever launched and it delivers an impressive fuel economy of just 4.2 liters per 100 kilometers (or about 56 U.S. mpg).
When compared to a standard Golf, the new GTD version received smoked LED rear lights and a larger roof spoiler. The interior has also received numerous GTD elements, like sports seats and steering wheels, a black roofliner and a GTD instrument cluster.
Hit the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen Golf GTD.
Before the 2013 model year, the top trim level of the Passat in the UK was the SE trim, which was relatively decked out, but lacked some of the extras that most premium sedans came with. In 2013, VW plans to change that by offering up a replacement for the outgoing SE trim level, the Passat Highline. Not only does the “Highline” name sound more luxurious than “SE,” but it also boasts an array of standard features that the SE did not.
This new addition affects both the Passat Saloon and the Passat Estate, which are a sedan and wagon, respectively. This gives the Passat lineup three trim levels in each body style, starting with the base-level S, the mid-grade BlueMotion, and capping off with the Highline. The real test is whether the additions to the top-level trim on the Passat really warrant the price the VW will place on it.
Click past the jump to read the full list of features and more.
Just about 10 years ago, VW introduced an all-new SUV bearing a name that only those with the most talented tongues could pronounce: the Touareg. It was such an odd name that VW actually made a commercial poking fun at the fact that no one really knew how to pronounce it, much like the Merkur tongue twister in the mid-1980s.
In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, VW is releasing a special edition Touareg Edition X. On the outside, you have a standard Touareg – one of the more stylish crossover SUVs available – but it features a set of 19-inch “Moab” wheels, silver anodized roof rails, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime runners, and smoked taillights. You also get the “Chrome & Style” package, tinted windows, and “Touareg X” logos.
On the inside, your hind side is supported by luxurious Amber Brown Nappa leather in a braid embossed style. You get real ebony inlays on the door panels and on the instrument panel to add a little elegance to the package. The front door sills boast illuminated “Touareg X” decals and you also get color-coordinated stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear shifter, and the floor mats.
You have a wide array of engine and drivetrain options in the Touareg Edition X, as there are five different options available, including a hybrid drivetrain. The only option that VW offers us any details on it the 150 kW (201-horsepower) 3.0-liter V-6 TDI engine. This model with the 8-speed automatic transmission runs €61,025 ($79,363 at the current exchange rates). That’s a ridiculous €10,500 premium over the base SE model for minimal additions. According to the press release, the Touareg Edition X is available now, but there is no mention of its U.S. availability.
Once VW releases all of the official standard features we can better assess it. For now, it just seems way overpriced.
We saw the first rendition of the Golf BlueMotion Concept about five years ago and it was impressive, boasting a 62.8 mph rating and emitting just 119 grams of CO2 per km. We then got a look at the second-gen model in 2009 with its 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km of CO2. Here we are at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and Volkswagen has the third generation BlueMotion Golf ready to show off.
Volkswagen really has something to prove in the mpg department, as it is one of only a handful of automakers available in the U.S. that has openly protested the new CAFÉ standards. VW has attempted to make it clear that its reasoning behind protecting the standards is not because it doesn’t want to build fuel-efficient vehicles, but rather because it feels the yearly improvement numbers are skewed to making it easier on American car and truck manufacturers.
Well, here stands a chance for VW to truly prove that it is all in on saving us money at the pump. So let’s have a look at what Vee-dub-ya has served up.
Click past the jump to read our review on the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Concept.