Volkswagen European Cars Affected By Emissions Evading Software

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Angela Merkel’s ministers ‘ignored warning over Volkswagen emissions rigging’.

Bob Rand bought his Volkswagen Passat last year for its clean emissions and high gas mileage. The former chief executive of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, will net a €1m (£740,000) annual pension from a €28.5m pot held with the disgraced carmaker, and could be in line for a €3.2m payoff after quitting on Wednesday.Angela Merkel’s government turned a blind eye to Volkswagen emissions rigging, it was claimed as the car company’s chief executive resigned amid the escalating crisis.

BERLIN (AP) — The software at the center of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in the U.S. was built into the automaker’s cars in Europe as well, though it isn’t yet clear if it helped cheat tests as it did in the U.S., Germany said Thursday. Winterkorn, who was one of Europe’s highest-paid executives, with a salary of €1.6m boosted to nearly €16m last year with bonuses and loyalty payments, finally fell on his sword as the extent of the emissions test-rigging scandal emerged.

A written parliamentary answer shows that German ministers were warned months ago of the so-called “defeat device” cheat software on diesel engines. A day after longtime CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down, a member of Volkswagen’s supervisory board said that he expects further resignations at the automaker in the wake of the scandal. Now, as Volkswagen comes clean about rigging diesel emissions to pass U.S. tests, Rand is desperately trying to sell the fully loaded model with white leather seats for $10,000 below what he paid. The transport ministry answered a question about the motoring industry on July 28, in which it said: “The federal government is aware of [defeat devices], which have the goal of [test] cycle detection.” While the answer does not mention Volkswagen, the suggestion by the country’s Green party, which posed the question, is that it was in reference to the car maker. • The German public prosecutor’s office in Brunswick started a “preliminary investigation” into VW employees while American authorities have widened criminal inquiries. His sole bite has been from a man who offered $7,500 on speculation that he could resell it in Mexico. “Volkswagen was somebody that you could rely on for cutting-edge products and quality and all those things and now you find out that they’re not above lying just flat out,” said Rand, who plans to join a class-action lawsuit against VW. “That’s probably about as bad a thing as a company can do is lie to your face when you’re buying a $35,000 car.” Rand’s anger at the world’s top-selling car company was echoed Wednesday by private dealers, auto wholesalers and owners across the U.S. as fallout from the smog test trickery mounted.

He may also be entitled to two years’ salary severance pay if “membership of the board of management is terminated for cause through no fault of the board of management member”. There was no written evidence on Wednesday of a specific question or answer naming VW in the parliamentary exchange between the German Greens and the country’s ministry in July. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed Friday that stealth software makes VW’s 2009-2015 model cars powered by 2.0-liter diesel engines run cleaner during emissions tests than in actual driving.

However, the ministry wrote: “The government shares the view of the European Commission that there is no extensively proven means of preventing defeat devices.” Oliver Krischer, deputy leader of the Greens, told N24 television: “The government told us in July that it knew about this software, which has been used in the USA. However, Winterkorn has been at the helm while the global corporation faces criminal investigation and huge consumer claims, as well as having almost 30% wiped off its market value as shares slid. It’s clear they knew the software was widely in use.” The VW emissions scandal is the result of a politics in which environmental and consumer protection plays no role and every trick and means of cheating is accepted with a wink.” Alexander Dobrindt, German transport minister, said in Berlin on Wednesday that the allegation that the government had acquiesced in manipulation was “false and indecent”. He said: “I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen group.” Winterkorn’s contract was due to be extended this week until the end of 2018. Meanwhile, Volkswagen is facing a class action lawsuit in Italy from a consumer group which found a “huge discrepancy” between advertised and actual fuel consumption on a VW Golf model, leaving drivers an estimated £350 a year out of pocket.

Many also dealt with a flood of angry calls, emails and tweets from Volkswagen owners who felt betrayed because they believed they had bought a car that polluted less without sacrificing the good gas mileage and performance that comes with a diesel engine. “I think their feet should be held to the fire. Winterkorn was praised effusively by the executive committee of VW’s supervisory board on departure, which suggested they would not seek to withhold any payout.

The motor transport authority is conducting static and road tests on Volkswagen models and spot tests on cars made by other manufacturers, German and foreign. In a statement, they praised his “towering contributions in the past decades and … willingness to take responsibility in this critical phase for the company. Also Thursday, Olaf Lies, economy and transport minister of VW’s home state Lower Saxony, which holds a 20 percent stake in the company, said the investigation into the scandal was only just starting. Winterkorn said Wednesday he took responsibility for the “irregularities” found by U.S. inspectors in VW’s diesel engines, but insisted he had personally done nothing wrong. VW is filing a criminal complaint with German prosecutors, seeking to identify those responsible for any illegal actions in connection with the scandal.

On Thursday, shares in BMW dropped 5.2 percent to 75.62 euros ($83.13) after Germany’s Auto Bild magazine reported that road tests by the International Council on Clean Transportation showed the BMW X3 xdrive model exceeding European emissions limits by more than 11 times. This took a lot of software programmers to put in place and keep in place.” At Volkswagen of Oakland, California, nearly two dozen new diesel cars have no chance of being sold in the short-term, while 25 2016 model vehicles are being held up at the Port of San Diego because they can’t pass emissions standards, sales manager Chris Murphy said. We’re just one dealer,” he said, adding that diesel models make up about 30 percent of the business. “This is definitely going to impact our business. We’re trying to focus on positive, not negative things because there’s nothing we can do.” Volkswagen has taken steps to help out the dealership, Murphy said. That includes guaranteeing reimbursement for sales objectives for two quarters whether or not the goals are met and waiving the interest the local franchise normally pays on unsold cars on their sales floor, he said. “They’re making all the right steps. …

Lash Volkswagen of White Plains, N.Y., has been scrambling to accommodate affected Volkswagen owners by giving them loaner cars and picking up or dropping off their cars when it’s time for repair, said Tom Backer, general manager of the dealership in New York’s Westchester County. Diesels make up less than 20 percent of his business and draw the most interest from customers looking for better gas mileage, he said. “We have 200 Volkswagens in stock; three of them are Jetta diesels,” he said. “So, it’s not like every Volkswagen out there has got a diesel motor in it.

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