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 US 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.

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 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.

Volkswagen: $4.3 billion settlement in US emissions case

11 Jan 2017
Volkswagen: $4.3 billion settlement in US emissions case
  • Volkswagen confirmed that the company came to a $4.3 billion settlement with US authorities over the emissions scandal; the company said it would plead guilty to criminal misconduct.
  • The company added that an independent monitor would oversee operations for the next three years.
  • The plea and the settlement are part of a deal with the Justice Department, which a judge would need to approve.

Fraud investigation against Volkswagen former boss

28 Jan 2017
Fraud investigation against Volkswagen former boss
  • German prosecutors announced that former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn was being investigated for fraud.
  • Since quitting in September 2015, Winterkorn said that he was unaware of the violations till August 2015.
  • However, authorities said that seized data from 28 offices and homes had revealed that he may have known about the manipulating software sooner than he had accepted publicly.

US Court backs Volkswagen for diesel settlement

16 Feb 2017
US Court backs Volkswagen for diesel settlement
  • A United States court has granted initial backing to a plan that involves Volkswagen paying $1.2 billion to fix or buy-back 80,000 cars from the emissions scandal.
  • The plan covers 3-litre diesel engines and unless it gets regulatory clearance for the same, VW could be forced to pay more than $4 billion.
  • The final ruling will be received by Volkswagen not before May 2017.