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Volkswagen cars' high pollution rates

Detection
Volkswagen cars' high pollution rates
  • The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), in a 2013-2014 research project in collaboration with West Virginia university, showed that certain Volkswagen cars were emitting much more pollution than they were supposed to, prompting an EPA investigation in 2014.
  • VW claimed to have fixed the issue, but real-world tests could not match up to lab tests.
  • This prompted regulators to investigate the discrepancy further.

Volkswagen cheating since 2008

18 Sep 2015
Volkswagen cheating since 2008
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Volkswagen of cheating emission tests via the use of a "defeat device" in certain car models.
  • The device includes an intricate code which turns on the pollution-control system of a car when it is being tested for emissions, while the car spews higher levels of pollutants otherwise.
  • The company was charged under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn resigns

23 Sep 2015
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn resigns
  • The Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn resigned on 23 September 2015.
  • Winterkorn said in a statement, "As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities...even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part."
  • After the scandal was uncovered, Volkswagen admitted that 11 million cars were affected worldwide.
  • VW also said that it had put aside $7.3 billion for reparations.

Volkswagen stocks plummet

Fact
Data

In light of the cheating accusations, Volkswagen stocks plunged almost 23% on 21 September wiping out approximately $17.6 billion in market value. The closing value of the stock was $147.60, the company's lowest ever in 3 years.

Volkswagen appoints new CEO

25 Sep 2015
Volkswagen appoints new CEO
  • Porsche chief, Matthias Muller was appointed as the new CEO of Volkswagen on 25 September 2015, after Winterkorn's resignation.
  • Muller said that he would leave "no stone unturned" in the investigation of the scandal, and that his primary aim was to restore the reputation of the Volkswagen Group which is the number one global carmaker in sales terms, with 80 million customers worldwide.

2.1 million Audis affected; probe launched against Winterkorn

28 Sep 2015
2.1 million Audis affected; probe launched against Winterkorn
  • Audi admitted that 2.1 million of its cars worldwide had been fitted with the "defeat-device".
  • This amounts to 1.42 million cars in western Europe, 577,000 cars in Germany, and almost 13,000 cars in the United States.
  • On the other hand, German authorities announced an investigation of former VW CEO, Martin Winterkorn over "allegations of fraud in the sale of cars with manipulated emissions data".

US DoJ files $20 billion lawsuit against VW

5 Jan 2016
US DoJ files $20 billion lawsuit against VW
  • The United States Department of Justice has filed a law suit against Volkswagen, alleging that 600,000 diesel vehicles across all it's brands had illegal devices that allowed them to fake emission tests.
  • DoJ officials stated that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling illegally modified cars.
  • The DoJ will seek $37,500 per car and $2750 per device, totaling over $20 billion in fines.

VW India calls back vehicles over emission inconsistencies

1 Apr 2016
VW India calls back vehicles over emission inconsistencies
  • German automaker Volkswagen will recall 3,877 diesel Vento models from India after production conformity tests found carbon monoxide emissions to be inconsistent.
  • A company statement said VW recalled 3,877 Vento cars with 1.5-litre diesel engine and manual gearbox.
  • Volkswagen assured customers that the problem impacts only the manual version of Vento with 1.5-litre diesel engine and is unrelated to the NOx emission scandal.

VW: €7.7 billion to fix rigged cars

29 Apr 2016
VW: €7.7 billion to fix rigged cars
  • Volkswagen said it had set aside €7.7 billion to buy back or fix diesel-powered cars that had been rigged to cheat in emissions tests.
  • The sum is part of €16.2 billion the company deducted from last year's earnings to cover the costs of the emissions scandal.
  • Analysts say the final bill will likely be much higher, after including the impact on lower sales.

Norway to sue VW over emissions scandal

16 May 2016
Norway to sue VW over emissions scandal
  • Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the Norges Bank Investment Management, has planned legal action against Volkswagen over the firm's emissions scandal.
  • Volkswagen said "we have been advised by our lawyers that the company's conduct gives rise to legal claims under German law."
  • The lawsuit will be filed in Germany, joining class-action cases (collective lawsuits for the same claim) which are being prepared there.

VW to pay $15 billion to car owners

28 Jun 2016
VW to pay $15 billion to car owners
  • German automaker Volkswagen has reportedly reached a $15 billion agreement with car owners after admitting to emissions fixing.
  • The offer involves VW repairing or buying back affected cars and paying owners compensation.
  • However, car owners have the option of declining VW's offer and suing the company separately.
  • The deal also includes $2.7 billion to offset carbon emissions and $2 billion in green energy research.

Engineer from Volkswagen pleads guilty

10 Sep 2016
Engineer from Volkswagen pleads guilty
  • James Robert Liang, a Volkswagen engineer, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in a US District Court in Detroit.
  • Liang agreed to comply with the broad investigation of the emissions scandal.
  • He admitted to designing the defeat device, that cheated on US emission tests, along with the other engineers.