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VW 25 articles

VW Supplier Pleads Guilty, Pays $35 Million Fine for Diesel Emissions Cheat

Volkswagen (VW) supplier IAV GmbH has pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge and agreed to pay a $35 million criminal fine for its role in developing the defeat devices for VW diesel engines that cheated U.S. emissions standards. Federal prosecutors said that Berlin, Germany-based IAV GmbH agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and VW’s U.S. customers by misleading them about whether certain VW and Audi diesel vehicles complied with federal emissions standards. IAV GmbH and its co-conspirators knew the vehicles did not meet U.S. emissions standards and worked with VW and ... Read More

VW Tiguan Probed by Feds After Seat Belt Failures

Federal regulators opened an investigation into Volkswagen’s (VW) newest Tiguan sport utility vehicles after the front seatbelts failed twice in two front-impact tests conducted by government researchers. A memo posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website says the seat belt failures occurred in two tests of VW’s 2018 Tiguan models conducted in December. According to Bloomberg, the driver’s seat belt webbing “completely separated” where it loops through the tongue latch that clicks into the buckle. The seat belt assemblies broke in two separate frontal impact tests in which the Tiguan collided with a rigid barrier while traveling ... Read More

VW Emissions Settlements Don’t Affect County Claims, Plaintiffs Argue

Settlements resolving claims over Volkswagen’s (VW) emissions cheat and the federal Clean Air Act do not bar air pollution complaints lodged by Hillsborough County, Florida, and Salt Lake County, Utah, lawyers for the counties told a California federal court. Volkswagen is pressing the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to toss the counties’ claims that they are entitled to compensation for pollution caused by VW’s emissions cheat under state laws. Those complaints are currently included in multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in the California court. In 2014, West Virginia University researchers and other members of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) discovered ... Read More

VW Exec Gets 7-Year Sentence for Emissions Cheat Role

A top-ranking Volkswagen executive in the U.S. received a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to criminal charges connected to the automaker’s emissions cheating scandal. Oliver Schmidt, a German citizen who served as a Michigan-based liaison between VW and U.S. regulators pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and one count of violating the Clean Air Act. Federal Judge Sean Cox in Detroit sentenced Mr. Schmidt to seven years, the maximum allowable sentence for his offenses and the punishment that federal prosecutors had sought. Mr. Schmidt had asked the judge to cap his sentence ... Read More

States to Fight Pollution With Volkswagen Settlement Funds

U.S. States will soon have access to $2.7 billion of a Volkswagen settlement resulting from its use of emissions cheating devices in certain diesel vehicles, and that money may be invested in projects that promise to reduce pollution. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the state of Minnesota will receive a $47 million share of the Volkswagen settlement amount. Officials there are currently receiving proposals from a number of businesses and organizations urging that some of the funds be invested in various environmentally friendly projects and products. In June 2016, Volkswagen agreed to pay the U.S. and automakers affected by ... Read More

All Top Three Automakers Now Under U.S. Regulatory Observation

Volkswagen’s $4.3 billion settlement of criminal and civil penalties resulting from its emissions fraud subjects the German automaker to three years of probation and daily regulatory scrutiny. Now, with the VW deal, the world’s top three automakers are under close federal oversight to ensure their compliance with auto rules and regulations. On April 21, federal judge Sean Cox in Michigan approved a $4.3 billion criminal and civil settlement reached between the U.S. government and Volkswagen six weeks prior. Part of that deal puts the automaker under the watchful eye of an independent, court-approved monitor. Toyota, the world’s leading auto manufacturer, ... Read More

Volkswagen Whistleblower Named In New Book About Emissions Cheat

The whistleblower who tipped off U.S. regulators to Volkswagen’s emissions cheat was a company chief in the U.S., a new book about the scandal claims. In the book Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal, author and New York Times reporter Jack Ewing names Stuart Johnson, head of VW’s Engineering and Environmental Office in the company’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, plant, as the whistleblower who exposed the diesel emissions cheat to U.S. authorities. Automotive News, which obtained a copy of the book ahead of its May release, says Alberto Ayala, deputy executive director of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), is quoted ... Read More

Volkswagen Hit With $2.8 Billion Criminal Fine For Emissions Cheat

A federal judge ordered Volkswagen to pay the U.S. a $2.8 billion criminal penalty for orchestrating a massive fraud scheme in which the German automaker equipped 600,000 diesel vehicles with an emissions cheat. The penalty is the largest ever negotiated between the U.S. government and an auto manufacturer, dwarfing the record and near-record fines paid by Toyota, General Motors, and airbag maker Takata in recent years. “I just can’t believe that VW is in this situation that it finds itself in today,” said U.S District Judge Sean Cox in the April 21 hearing. He added that Volkswagen’s fraud was “very ... Read More

Admitting Guilt For Its Emissions Cheat Shows VW Lied, Investors Claim

Volkswagen AG investors in a proposed class against the German automaker are seeking a partial summary judgment on certain claims involving the auto manufacturer’s emissions cheat, arguing the company acknowledged when it pleaded guilty to civil and criminal charges that it made false statements with intent to mislead. “Having accepted criminal liability for knowingly and fraudulently misrepresenting the ‘clean diesel’ vehicles’ ‘environmental friendliness,’ and emissions compliance, VW AG cannot credibly dispute that it misrepresented those same facts to investors, and did so with [full knowledge],” the investors claim, adding that “Discovery and further litigation on these undisputed points would be ... Read More

Engineer Who Developed VW’s Emissions Cheat Pleads Guilty To Criminal Charge

A Volkswagen engineer has pleaded guilty for his role in developing and implementing a software system that allowed the German automaker’s diesel-powered vehicles to cheat U.S. emissions tests for nearly a decade. James Robert Liang, 62, of Newburg Park, Calif., pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act for his role in the emissions cheat. If convicted, Mr. Liang faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Mr. Liang worked in VW’s diesel development department in Wolfsburg, Germany, from 1983 through mid-2008. ... Read More