"Between 2006 and 2014, the commission suspects that the “circle of five” carmakers ... colluded to limit, delay or avoid the introduction of selective catalytic reduction systems (SCRs) and “Otto” particle filters."
Are the other car manufacturers going to be held to account as well?
As someone who already owned a couple cars out of the Volkswagen brands, currently is seeing them still very critical but following their news closely I am sure they will do.
The first ID model will maybe delayed, maybe not better than a Tesla in many points, but I see VW is going full in to EVs and this is something that would never happened so fast if there wasn’t this Dieselgate story. The other german car manufactors are way more conservative with their transition and VW will push a So this is maybe the happy end of all this.
They can not grow internak competition against it without sabotage from those who built this.
It's only a small portion of their revenue overall and they operate on razor thin margins so it just might be keeping them afloat.
The cars themselves are not bad, but the service centres are downright dishonest and very unhelpful. So, for me at least, the real reputation problem is their attitude towards the customer.
Does it? US sales figures don't reflect that claim. They'll be back to their 400,000+/y US sales rate in the next year or two. The hit after 2015 was modest, never going below 300,000.
> While the actions of some of the men dates to 2006, Winterkorn was informed about the scam in May 2014, according to prosecutors. Six months later, he condoned a “useless” update of the vehicles’ computer software to help further veil the scam.
So, from 2006-2014 it was rogue engineers and then the CEO took actions to cover it up?
Seems similar to many scandals throughout history, like Watergate where Nixon didn’t direct the burglary but did direct actions to cover it up.
The entire "rogue engineer" meme is ridiculous, and this person is absolutely not innocent.
In any other country -- and especially UK/USA -- I'd expect to have seen a bunch of engineers forced into plea-bargain deals an a bunch of managers "retiring" to Monaco.
This cheating literally cost thousands of lives, so I'd say some time in prison is perfectly fair. Fines are useless because it is not the executives who pay.
I don't know why this impression is so widespread. The prosecutor's office started investigations immediately, there have been quite a few raids in offices and private homes over all this time, yet, online commenters always claim that Germany wouldn't prosecute (or would not prosecute managers).
I pointed out that the Enron scandal events started in the 90s, started making news in 2001, and Skilling was sentenced in 2006.
The wheels of justice grind slowly.
(in case it's not, the /s should be obvious)
Of course reasonable doesn't mean it is the truth. I have no idea what the truth is, but the fears are reasonable.
That’s not quite correct. The shares are owned by the state of Niedersachsen, not the federal government. And they don’t own 25%. They own 11.8%, though they have 20% of the voting rights.
Oh, and public pressure just made the politicians stop. On the other hand public pressure can never stop copyright reform because politicians clearly don't care about the voters.
Maybe you should readjust your mental image of Germany.
Maybe a lifetime of seeing governments fail to enforce laws against the rich?
The legislative is not the executive is not the judicial. Don't throw the whole government into one basket.
Don't even throw the whole of a single branch of government into one basket.
There's a lot of independent actors and parties involved.
It's not wrong but it's not telling the whole truth either. More rigorous metrics like YPLL would be better. A 20yo that drops dead is different from an elderly person that dies of lung issues a few years before cancer would have got them and more meaningful metrics attempt to capture this. "Deaths" is just a number and it doesn't tell you much. Age adjusted metrics don't make for bolt headlines or effective emotional appeals so it's understandable why nobody uses them.
In places where diesel isn't placed on a pedestal to suppress gasoline usage, air quality is far better than it was 40 years ago.
An MIT study claims over 1,200 premature deaths in Europe due to the fraud. 
So VW traded Y number of deaths for extra marketshare and profit.
Engineer: "The only way to do that is to..."
Manager interrupts: "I don't care about the details. You said it could be done"
Engineer (silently): "Ok well I guess I'll go to jail or see my family fall on hard times"
Prior to the two diesel's I had owned 4 other Audi's over 15 years.
I test drove a 3.0L TDI and listened to the "green" propaganda (remember their across NA clean diesel tour?) and that is what was the decision makers to purchase.
I then find out the vehicle was not nearly as green as stated; and actually worse than a gasoline version. As the father of two young kids and someone who worries about how we treat our planet this was concerning to me. So I immediately got the "fix" performed when approved. I could not sell the vehicle while a "fix" was pending.
That fix that VW came up with has dropped heavy city (stop and go) driving from >24 mpg to under 10! Also 4 mpg on the highway was lost; as well as making the vehicle drive sluggish and lethargic compared to "dirty days".
My vehicles plummeted from >$30K resale value to being under $15K within 6 months after the "fix" was rolled out. VW paid me $6K in restitution.
Through the entire process VW, who is guilty, was in the power position dictating what they would and would not to solve the problem. It was not handled well. They got off very easy.
I now hope the entire management team involved gets significant criminal charges. It was massive in scope. It impacted our planet negatively. I also feel they should be banned, personally, from ever being in a position to make such decisions again.
I for one will never purchase another vehicle from VW/Audi group. They do not stand behind their products nor look after customers. What they did was a very serious crime and they can never be trusted again.
VW did a bad thing, but the owners did not get screwed. In fact, the non-owners got screwed worse because we had to breathe the same fumes as the owners but we didn't get a free car for two years.
Gen-2 cars they came up with a way to reprogram them to get to pass; but as I mentioned it comes with a huge impact of mileage and performance. Us gen-2 owners got about 10% of the vehicle purchase price to make up for the loss of resale value as the vehicles are not what was advertised or nearly as desirable.
And I agree fully with you that they screwed everyone living on this planet the worst.
Parent made the wrong choices. I can tell because they talked about using the car in the city. It's the wrong vehicle for city driving. FWIW I bought a 2012 VW Golf TDI for around $25k out the door. Drove almost 200k mi before it was bought back, received $18.5k or so back on it from VW, Bosch payments and the initial 'we're sorry package'. It was my second TDI after a 98 Jetta TDI. There was simply no other competition on the market for efficient long distance highway travel, which is what I used it for... and for people that asked me about its mileage, I would tell them... it only makes sense if you drive highways for at least a half hour each day. I was personally responsible for 2 Golf TDI's, a Passat TDI, and a A3 TDI being purchased by friends and family. All but one were bought back for values that were over market. The one that wasn't was because he sold it before the scandal broke.
So no, I don't understand the butthurt on lost value. It lost value because that's what vehicles do after a few years (or even after you drive them off the lot), not because of the scandal. You can speculate all you want, but the fact was once the buyback happened you had three options to replace the car left in the market segment. 1. A pre-2007 Benz or VW that overnight became impossible to purchase 2. A 2016 'fixed' TDI that had all the issues of the DPF. 3. One of the few Chevy Cruze diesels that were ludicrously overpriced and had poor option choice (no hatchback and standard trans: did you not want to capture some of VW's market?)
I would still very much expect that even in their dirty state, TDI's put out far less carbon emissions than gas vehicles do. NOX emissions, while a problem are less of a concern for long distance rural trips. Had I done it in a gas car I'm quite certain the longterm effect would be worse, even moreso if I flew in a jet for those trips.
And yeah, absolutely charge the people involved for covering up the testing. They are responsible not just for the pollution they caused while the cars were produced, but for the future pollution caused by the void of more efficient small vehicles that electric isn't ready to fill yet (outside of burbs). I'm pro electric, it just wouldn't work for my use case. For example, I tell people with a 5mi commute to a train station to buy old Nissan Leafs, because it's ideal for their use case. It doesn't make sense owning a diesel for that because they soot up and have issues when they aren't run enough.
Sounds like you enjoyed your diesel hot rods for a good long while. You really should consider foregoing your martyrdom at some point; the well of sympathy for you isn't bottomless. Some of us can recall the years of self righteous VW owners lecturing the world about their little miracle cars.
You bought into a fraud. An honorable person finds a little shame in that, even when they can claim innocence.
... what? So, if someone falls for a pyramid scheme they should be ashamed of themselves? If someone gets tricked by a phone scam they should be ashamed?
Even in a sea of "you are always at fault!" bad takes, this has to be one of the worst. Victims should never feel shame that others abused them/their trust.
A little, yes.
Detecting 'too good to be true' is an important aspect of judgement. Blithely inculcating every claim when it aligns with self interest is at the root of many evils.
You can see it in the post; the test drive sold it. This isn't an anomaly. VW buyers cite that same observation over and over. They liked the performance; they were buying performance.
When some yob brings a gas powered V8 pony car home from the dealer we're all granted permission to sneer at the selfish fool. Yet somehow the millions of VW buyers that learned about the kick in the pants product with the respectable badge are all mysteriously exempt and entitled to absolution.
Not from me.
"a “useless” update of the vehicles’ computer software to help further veil the scam."
I did not hear about this part of dieselgate.
The median _gross_ income in the UK is £22k ($29k USD).
You must be incredibly out of touch to perceive something at the level of "giving up private club membership" to be suitable punishment for such abject disregard for the environment and public health.
Can anyone give me insight into the fixes they have applied?
If the cars were cheating to defeat IM tests, wouldn't making them not cheat make them fail (or nearly fail) IM tests? Are these cars likely to fail the tests as they age?
Did VW actually fix the IM problem instead of using the software to defeat the tests? If so, it seems like the fix wasn't all that hard and it might have been easier to fix them than to cheat in the first place.
But it also raises the question of whether a person acting on behalf of a company is chargeable, as typically, the company is the legal entity that the law targets. How can individuals be protected from legal failings of a corporation?
It's ironic you implied HN'ers are incapable of connecting more than two dots, then proceeded to rant about there being more than two dots between pollution and death...