Volkswagen - Audi has been the leading proponent of “clean diesel” fueled cars in the United States. “Clean diesel” has been sold as providing more miles per gallon, greater range between fill-ups, lower cost of operation, and the thrill and acceleration of a turbo engine. Volkswagen also promised the vehicle included engine technology that would eliminate the chief disadvantage of diesel fuel: high emissions of pollution. “We used to think of diesel as black clouds of smoke and noxious fumes. But that was then,” Volkswagen's website provides. Volkswagen told people they could feel environmentally responsible for buying a diesel car. For all this, Volkswagen charged its customers a healthy premium over similar vehicles with gasoline engines.
On September 18, 2015, the world learned the truth: Volkswagen’s diesel success story was a lie. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency charged Volkswagen with using a “defeat device” on its engines to deceive emissions tests. Under laboratory conditions, the affected cars’ emissions stay under the legal limit. On the open road, researchers found, emissions can be as high as 40 times the limit.
Volkswagen now admits that it developed and implemented illegal software into its diesel vehicles, and even some non-diesel vehicles, to allow the cars to detect whether they were being operated in a lab or on the open highway, and then to automatically adjust the emissions accordingly. On the open road, the emissions (mainly NOx) cause acid rain, smog, and immediate health hazards for those exposed to them. High levels of NOx are linked to thousands of deaths annually.
Most Likely Remedies for Volkswagen Owners
Owners of the Volkswagen and Audi recall likely will face:
- A mandatory recall of the car to reprogram the engine. This could make the car less responsive, less fuel efficient, and less fun to drive. Other potential fixes include adding an entirely new tank of chemical reagent, which then must be maintained and filled by the driver.
- Permanently higher fuel costs
- Loss of resale value
- Increased maintenance costs
- Loss of confidence in the vehicles. Some drivers are asking, if Volkswagen deliberately cheated on emissions, did it deliberately cheat on safety too?
The Volkswagen Vehicles Involved in the Recall
|Audi A6 Quattro||2014-2016|
|Audi A7 Quattro||2014-2016|
|Volkswagen Beetle Convertible||2012-2015|
|Volkswagen Golf SportWagen||2015|
|Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen||2009-2014|
Volkswagen Lawsuit News
Volkswagen faces billions in penalties as U.S. sues for environment violations: The U.S. Justice Department on Monday filed a civil lawsuit against Volkswagen AG for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act by installing illegal devices to impair emission control systems in nearly 600,000 vehicles. The allegations against Volkswagen, along with its Audi and Porsche units, carry penalties that could cost the automaker billions of dollars, a senior Justice Department official said. VW could face fines in theory exceeding $90 billion – or as much as $37,500 per vehicle per violation of the law, based on the complaint. In September, government regulators initially said VW could face fines in excess of $18 billion. To read more, click Reuters
Guide to the Volkswagen Emissions Recall: Volkswagen is accused of—and has admitted to—circumventing the emissions control system in about 482,000 vehicles sold in the United States since 2008 with the 2.0-liter diesel engine. As many as 11 million vehicles worldwide may be affected. In mid-September, the EPA issued a notice of violation to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America (collectively VW) for failure to comply with Clean Air Act regulations. In November, the EPA notified the automaker about violations found with its 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine, as well. In doing so, the agency determined that certain Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen models have been emitting more pollutants than legally acceptable, leaving in their wake potential environmental and health implications. To read more, click Consumer Reports
Volkswagen Says 800,000 More Cars Affected in Emissions Probe: Volkswagen AG said an internal probe in the wake of the diesel scandal that has engulfed the German carmaker showed irregularities in CO2 emissions affecting an additional 800,000 cars, deepening a crisis that has already cost long-time Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn his job, depressed the stock price and led to ballooning provisions. To read more, click Bloomberg
Small Non-Profit (not EPA) Brought Down World’s Largest Automaker: Caught VW’s Emission Fraud: Volkswagen not only has a problem with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it now has a problem with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. VW certified its diesel-powered cars as being eligible for a clean energy tax credit for buyers in 2009 and 2010, and some 60,000 Volkswagen owners claimed a $1,300 credit on their taxes. To read more, click Ring of Fire
VW Under Investigation by the I.R.S. for Tax Fraud arising out of Emission Cheat Device: Earlier this week, German automaker Volkswagen was exposed for perpetrating a massive deception by installing a small device on as many as 11 million diesel-powered vehicles designed to cheat emissions tests. This egregious example of corporate malfeasance was discovered not by government regulators and inspectors, whose job it was – but by two engineers in different countries, working for a little-known non-profit laboratory. To read more, click Ring of Fire
VW manipulated diesel emissions tests in Europe, says German minister: Volkswagen has admitted rigging emissions tests in Europe in the same way it falsified results in the US, Germany's transport minister has said. Alexander Dobrindt said it was not known how many of the 11 million vehicles affected were in Europe. He also said other manufacturers' vehicles would be checked. To read more, click BBC News
Volkswagen boss quits over diesel emissions scandal: Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday, succumbing to pressure for change at the German carmaker, which is reeling from the admission that it deceived U.S. regulators about how much its diesel cars pollute. "Volkswagen needs a fresh start - also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation," Winterkorn said, following a marathon meeting with the executive committee of the VW board. To read more, click Reuters News
Volkswagen Scandal Widens: Volkswagen is being engulfed by a growing crisis over its attempt to make millions of diesel cars appear cleaner than they are. The scandal broke Friday, when U.S. regulators said the German company had programmed some 500,000 vehicles to emit lower levels of harmful emissions in official tests than on the roads. Volkswagen stunned investors Tuesday by admitting that the problem was much bigger than that: internal investigations had found significant discrepancies in 11 million vehicles worldwide. The company set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to cover the cost of recalls and other efforts to limit the damage, trashing its profit forecast for the year in the process. To read more, click CNN Money
Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Worldwide Are Affected in Diesel Deception: A scandal that has battered Volkswagen’s image in the United States spread to the automaker’s core market in Europe on Tuesday, when the company said that 11 million of its diesel cars were equipped with software that could be used to cheat on emissions tests. That was more than 20 times the number of cars previously disclosed. The company also said it would set aside 6.5 billion euros, or about $7.3 billion — the equivalent of half a year’s profits — to cover the cost of making the cars comply with pollution standards. To read more, click New York Times
Volkswagen emissions violations: In September 2015, German car maker Volkswagen AG was found to have used software to cheat on emissions tests for 11 million of its diesel engine Volkswagen cars sold between 2009 and 2015. The software detected when cars were driving an emission test and turned on pollution controls that were normally inactive. This resulted in car models passing United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tests while in real-world driving emitting up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides (NOx). To read more, click WikiPedia