World’s Largest Automakers May 2018: VW extending its lead – slightly

The battle for World’s Largest Automaker 2018 turns more and more into a bitter fight between Volkswagen Group and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Five months into the year, VW managed to extend its lead ever so slightly, with only 45,000 units separating the Germans from the French-Japanese nipping at their heels.

Former ichi ban Toyota apparently has decided to sit back and relax. Toyota Group’s worldwide production basically is the same it was January to May 2017. [Continue Reading]

Audi continues to use dieselgate defeat devices. 127,000 cars affected

“Unbelievable!” exclaims Germany’s  BILD tabloid: More than two years after the dieselgate scandal became public, Volkswagen Group’s premium brand Audi still “produces and sells diesel cars with the illegal software.”  

According to the paper [German, paywall], Germany’s regulator KBA has found “illegal defeat devices” in V6 TDI diesel engines used in Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5, SQ 5, SQ 5 plus and Q 7.  127 000 vehicles are affected, the paper writes.

Even more unbelievable: The illegal engines were launched end of 2015, AFTER the scandal became public. [Continue Reading]

Volkswagen’s Matthias Müller Loses Face And A Friend, VW Unions Victorious


Volkswagen customers the world over are still waiting for the definitive dieselgate fix. Meanwhile, the company is busy with itself.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller lost a boardroom showdown with the company’s powerful union, along with an important lieutenant, Germanys BILD Zeitung says. According the in VW matters usually well informed paper, Müller wanted to reinstall Porsche ’s R&D chief Wolfgang Hatz. The request was denied.

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Dieselgate Reaches Daimler: A Defeat Device By Another Name


Europe’s auto industry is desperately trying to paint dieselgate as an isolated lapse of judgement by Volkswagen, while Volkswagen is desperately trying to paint dieselgate as the work of a “couple of engineers” lacking parental supervision. The transparent paint-job has received a huge crack today when Germany’s Daimler AG was found using the defeat device Daimler’s mustachioed CEO Dieter Zetsche has sworn not to exist.

Except that Daimler doesn’t call it a defeat device.

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Despite Brussels Proposals, EU Carmakers And Regulators Continue To Live In Sin



According to euromyths, and all too often according to law, everything in Europe is regulated by commissars in Brussels, from the bend radius of bananas (law repealed) to a ban on eating your pet horse (law in effect.) Everything but automobiles, as it turns out. There is no central oversight, the decision on what cars are allowed on Europe’s roads rests solely in the hands of individual member states. If a EU state does not want to take action against a misbehaving national carmaker, there is nobody in Europe who can. Governments have a vested interest, if not outright shares, in their carmakers, which explains why no EU government has imposed a penalty on Volkswagen, never mind that some 8.5 million of the 11 million vehicles globally equipped with VW’s defeat devices are on Europe’s roads, emitting massive doses of cancer-causing gases with barely a finger-wagging. In light of the scandal, there is a proposal circulating in Brussels that wants to tighten the loose rules.

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Dieselgate Cover-up Runs Into Opposition

Get on with it

Get on with it

Pressure is building on Volkswagen and German government agencies to come clean about the dieselgate scandal. Volkswagen’s second-biggest shareholder has given VW a three-month deadline to provide a full account of the scandal, while German lobby group Deutsche Umwelthilfe, frustrated because Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) has yet to provide details about the recall of millions of affected Volkswagen diesel cars, has brought suit against the regulator.

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Crown witness confirms Hallway Radio reports: #Dieselgate cheating open secret at VW

Horn at the hearings

Horn at the hearings: “Couple of engineers”

A “crown witness” in the dieselgate scandal has been talking for months, implicating a large number of engineers and executives, a report in German media says. When Volkswagen’s U.S. chief Michael Horn took the stand at a House committee last October, he said that the cheating was the work of a couple of rogue engineers, and that nobody higher up had any idea. As unbelievable as it did sound, the story of a couple of engineers lacking parental supervision became the narrative at Volkswagen, with the story line culminating so far last week in a botched interview given by Volkswagen’s new CEO Matthias Mueller, where he told National Public Radio that Volkswagen didn’t lie, and that a few engineers simply misinterpreted American rules.

As of today, Volkswagen needs a new narrative.

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VW’s Unions Don’t Want “Effing Freeh”


The powerful works council of Germany’ Volkswagen AG objects to a former fed snooping around the Wolfsburg headquarters. On Monday, Germany’s usually well-informed Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Volkswagen plans to hire former FBI boss Louis Freeh as a go-between to broker a peace among the dieselgate-damaged carmaker and the increasingly irascible U.S. government agencies.

Volkswagen’s union bosses don’t want him.

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