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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Dieselgate Now Officially An Industry-Wide Problem As Cancer Worries Mount

clean diesel

The European auto industry so far has tried to paint dieselgate as an isolated Volkswagen case. Yesterday, diesel emissions officially became what campaigners always claimed they are: An industry-wide problem. On Tuesday, French automaker Renault said it plans a software change to its diesel engine in order to lower excessive nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

This after investigators raided Renault’s offices on January 14, and after Renault was called on the carpet by a French government-led commission that found relatively high NOx emissions from Renault models ….

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Fears of #dieselgate contagion hammer shares of EU automakers

renault-koleos-diesel - Picture courtesy

Shares of European carmakers took a nosedive today on news that Renault’s offices were searched last week “regarding a fraud investigation possibly linked to emissions,” as Reuters put it.  More in Forbes

#dieselgate, economic warfare, and $TSLA

Horn at the hearings

Horn at the hearings

A leading German politician claimed yesterday that the U.S. government may be providing fire support for its automakers by aggressively targeting foreign competitors. This accusation caused outraged headlines in the U.S. It does, however, reflect broad thinking in Europe, and in the rest of the world. It also is not the first time this has come up. A similar scandal was used to box-in Toyota, and to provide a nest for fledgling Tesla.

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#Dieseldämmerung: DUH tests Renault Espace with “frightening” results

renault-escpace-2015 Picture couresy Autocar

As expected by the Dailykanban, German environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe today said cars by French automaker Renault are exceeding EU NOx limits in an alarming way. [Continue Reading]

Own battery cell production stupid idea, automakers say

Let someone else do it

Let someone else do it

There is a highly interesting article in Germany’s Welt. It is required reading for all interested in EVs. It especially is of interest for people interested or invested in Tesla, from Elon Musk on down. Reading it will make some people doubt the sanity of the Gigafactory. The story is in German, and in case the language doesn’t come easy to you, here is an abstract. [Continue Reading]

#dieselgate costs VW market share. Does it really?

clean diesel

Today, Europe’s auto manufacturer association ACEA published EU new passenger car registration data for October. Overall EU registrations were up 2.9 percent in the month, but that wasn’t what observers were looking for. A mere 75 seconds after ACEA released the numbers, Bloomberg hit the wire, pronouncing that “VW’s European Market Share Falls in First Month of Scandal.” Later, “falls” was edited to “slips.” Volkswagen’s group sales were down a mere 0.2 percent in the month. Was it due to dieselgate? The proof is far from conclusive, and the facts deserve at least a few minutes of closer inspection. [Continue Reading]