U.S justice department files complaint against VW over emissions deception

  • The Department of Justice is, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, suing Volkswagen for allegedly equipping 584,000 diesel vehicles with illegal defeat devices that resulted in harmful air pollution.  

  • In a statement, the EPA said Monday's move was 'the first stage in bringing Volkswagen to justice'. *

  • Volkswagen had previously been issued with two separate notices from the EPA accusing the German automaker of violating the Clear Air Act through the use of defeat devices in certain Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles.

  • Volkswagen said in December that the scandal was not the result of a 'one time error' - the company has set aside €6.7 billion to deal with the issue and is due to begin carrying out fixes this month. SB


Emissions Scandal: Cheating issues 'not a one time error'

  • VW detailed the preliminary findings of its internal investigation into the emissions scandal on Thursday - the automaker said the installation of defeat devices to falsify emissions tests was not the result of a ‘one time error’ but of a ‘chain of errors that were allowed to happen’

  •  It said the deception began when it became clear that the company’s EA189 diesel engine could not meet U.S nitrogen oxide requirements within the budget and timeframe of a planned large scale promotional offer in 2005. 

No business transaction justifies overstepping legal and ethical bounds.
— Hans Dieter Pötsch, chairman of VW’s supervisory board.

South Korea recall, fine

The fine that Volkswagen has been ordered to pay (11.4 billion won).



November 10th, 2015

VW offers 'goodwill package' to U.S customers

Package worth up to $1000 in credits

 

  1. $500 prepaid Visa loyalty card.

  2. $500 Volkswagen dealership card.
  3. 24 hour roadside assistance for three years.


November 2nd, 2015

U.S authorities issue second violation notice against Volkswagen

VW, Audi and Porsche models affected.

 

The notice alleges that defeat devices, used to falsify emissions tests, were installed in a host of 2014, 2015 and 2016 models. 

VW has once again failed its obligation to comply with the law that protects clean air for all Americans.
— Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator at the EPA

Up to 10,000 2014 and 2015 models affected

Volkswagen Touareg (2014)

Porsche Cayenne (2015)

Unknown number of 2016 Audi models affected

Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5

 

 

New developments in the Volkswagen emissions scandal lead 5times4.com this Monday.

Posted by 5 TIMES 4 on Monday, November 2, 2015
 
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft on Monday that vehicles with V6 TDI engines had a software function which had not been adequately described in the application process. Volkswagen AG wishes to emphasise that no software has been installed in the 3-litre V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner.
— Volkswagen statement

Recent developments

  • October 28th: Volkswagen reported a third quarter operating loss of €3.48 billion as it took a €6.7 billion hit in charges related to the emissions scandal. The company's chief executive, Matthias Müller, said that the overall figures showed the 'core strength' of the Volkswagen Group. 

  • October 15th: Following a decision by Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority, Volkswagen has confirmed it will recall 8.5 million diesel vehicles in Europe, including 2.4 million in Germany, starting in January 2016 - customers will not be charged for the fix. 


The congressional hearing 

  • Appearing before an Energy and Commerce congressional committee in Washington DC on October 8th, Michael Horn offered his 'sincere apologies' for Volkswagen's falsifying of emissions tests in the United States. 

  • Mr. Horn claimed that the decision to use defeat devices to allow the automaker's diesel vehicles perform better in test scenarios than in regular driving conditions was not made at a board level but was instead the work of 'a couple of software engineers'. 

  • When pushed back on this assertion by lawmakers present at the committee hearing, Mr. Horn said that he accepted it was 'very hard to believe' that senior management had no knowledge of the scheme. 


[This will be] the biggest service action in the company’s history.
— Christian Buhlmann, VW spokesman on September 29th

The company is preparing for mass global recalls 

 

cars affected worldwide according to Volkswagen

Audi vehicles affected

Seat vehicles affected

Skoda vehicles affected

Light commercial vehicles affected

drop in Volkswagen shares in Frankfurt at the close on September 21st

different diesel car brands owned by VW that are affected by the U.S recall

set aside by Volkswagen to service the affected vehicles and to 'win back' customers trust. 

 

The German automaker was ordered to recall 482,000 vehicles in the U.S in September 

 

The Affected Models (first U.S recall)

  • VW Jetta (Diesel, 2009-2015)

  • VW Beetle (Diesel, 2009-2015)

  • VW Golf (Diesel, 2009-2015)

  • VW Passat (Diesel, 2009-2015).

  • Audi A3 (Diesel, 2009-2015)

Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health.
— Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator at the EPA
I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter.
— Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG:

Three days after issuing the statement above, Dr Winterkorn resigned. 

I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.

On September 28th, German prosecutors erroneously said they had opened an investigation into Dr. Winterkorn over allegations over fraud but on October 1st they said Dr. Winterkorn was not a suspect and that no criminal investigation had been launched. 

How did they do it?

 

  • The vehicles were fitted with software that, according to the EPA, circumvented their emission standards for certain types of pollutants. 
  • The software was able to detect when an emissions test was being carried out and only then did it turn on the car's full emission controls. 

  • The EPA says that this meant that while the vehicles met required standards during testing, in regular driving situations the vehicles emitted nitrogen oxide at up to 40 times the standard. 

VW admitted on September 22nd that 11 million vehicles worldwide were fitted with the 'defeat device'

Discrepancies relate to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines, involving some eleven million vehicles worldwide. A noticeable deviation between bench test results and actual road use was established solely for this type of engine. Volkswagen is working intensely to eliminate these deviations through technical measures.
— Volkswagen statement

A number of countries are now investigating the emissions of diesel VW vehicles.

 

Volkswagen AG closing price (VOW3:DE)

ACEA says there is 'no evidence' of an industry wide issue

 


Timeline

 

  • December 10th: Volkswagen details the findings of its preliminary investigation into the emissions scandal and reveal that the company's engineers first began working on defeat devices to falsify tests in 2005 at the same time as the company struggled to meet U.S nitrogen oxide requirements ahead of a planned 'large scale promotion' of diesel vehicles in the American market. 

  • December 9th: Volkswagen says the CO2 emissions issue is not as widespread as it first suspected -  around 36,000 vehicles are thought to be affected, not 800,000 as originally estimated. 

  • November 10th: Volkswagen offers a 'goodwill package' worth around $1000 in credits to its U.S customers affected by the emissions scandal. 

  • November 3rd: Volkswagen identifies an irregularity in CO2 emissions that it says may affect up to 800,000 of its vehicles, the majority of them diesel engines. 

  • November 2nd: The U.S Environmental Protection Agency issued a second notice of violation of the Clean Air Act against Volkswagen, alleging that the company fitted defeat devices in 2014, 2015 an 2016 3 litre diesel models. Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen branded vehicles are affected. 

  • October 28th: Volkswagen reported a third quarter operating loss of €3.48billion as it took a €6.7 billion hit in charges related to the emissions scandal. The company's chief executive, Matthias Müller, said that the overall figures showed the 'core strength' of the Volkswagen Group. 

  • October 15th: Following a decision by Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority, Volkswagen has confirmed it will recall 8.5 million diesel vehicles in Europe, including 2.4 million in Germany, starting in January 2016 - customers will not be charged for the fix.

  • October 13th: Volkswagen, announcing a string of 'strategic decisions', said that it would cut planned investments by €1 billion per year and 're-orientate' its diesel strategy by equipping vehicles with  emissions systems 'that use the best environmental technology'. 

  • October 12th: China confirmed that 1,950 imported VW diesel vehicles, mostly Tiguan SUVs, were fitted with defeat devices and would be recalled. Volkswagen vehicles made in China, where petrol cars dominate the market, were not thought to be affected at this stage.

  • October 12th: Authorities in Singapore said that 650 VW diesel vehicles in the country were fitted with defeat devices and said that sales of diesel vehicles models affected by the emissions scandal would be suspended until Volkswagen had 'completed rectification of all affected vehicles'. 

  • October 8th: The CEO and president of Volkswagen USA, Michael Horn, testified before a congressional committee in Washington DC, saying in his preprepared remarks that he was made aware of an issue with the company's emissions in the spring of 2014 but said he didn't know defeat devices were used until this September. 

  • October 7th: VW CEO Matthias Mueller told a German news provider that the company would begin recalling the 11m vehicles fitted with defeat devices in January and hoped to complete the process by the end of 2016. 

  • October 6th: New VW CEO Matthias Mueller told employees that the automaker would review all planned investments, cancelling or delaying non-essential projects according to remarks seen by Bloomberg.

  • October 2nd: Prosecutors in France opened an investigation into the Volkswagen Group for 'aggravated deception', while Switzerland introduced a sales ban on diesel cars built by VW with outdates emissions systems. 

  • October 1st: Clarifying a statement made earlier in the week, German prosecutors said that they had not opened a criminal investigation into Volkswagen's former CEO. 

  • September 22nd: Volkswagen confirms that 11 million of its vehicles fitted with EA189 diesel engines exhibit discrepancies between emissions in test conditions and emissions during regular road use. 

  • September 18th: The Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S issues a notice to Volkswagen for violating the Clean Air Act - the agency accuses VW of installing software in its vehicles to allow them to circumvent emissions standards.