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Anyone here drive a VW TDI? (Page 3)
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reader50
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Nov 4, 2015, 03:29 AM
 
@ is_not, no source link ...
Originally Posted by Matthias Müller
From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody.
Funny, he's stopped short of management and the boardroom every time. All we hear about are low-level engineers who conspired across multiple brands, without approval or overtime pay.

If only I could find legions of engineers willing to do illegal things for free. I could get going with my conquer-the-world plan.
     
is not
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Nov 4, 2015, 09:22 AM
 
sorry reader, no problem

source is Autocar, who has been giving info about the scandal every day, different to other magazines filled by VW group advertisements



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Nov 4, 2015, 06:54 PM
 
I'm a bit confused why you would need to "cheat" on gasoline engines in regards to NOx emissions.

Because they can ?

-t
     
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Nov 4, 2015, 07:09 PM
 
CO2
     
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Nov 8, 2015, 07:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm a bit confused why you would need to "cheat" on gasoline engines in regards to NOx emissions.

Because they can ?

-t
It's not NOx this time, they're cheating by misreporting the CO2 exhaust. That's effectively a scam on various governments who pay bonuses on such cars.
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Nov 8, 2015, 10:36 PM
 
The only thing I am surprised about is that so far only VW has been caught cheating outright. It's hard for me to believe that no other manufacturer has had to resort to the same tricks (they're all cooking with the same water).
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Nov 9, 2015, 10:42 AM
 
Before this latest VW announcement, I wasn't surprised that it was only one. Now I'm not so sure. What makes me think that it might still just be VW is that engine development is something that the OEMs do in-house - if it had been anything else, there would have been multiple suppliers involved that could spread the dirty tricks.
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Nov 9, 2015, 03:12 PM
 
They really shouldn't fine the company itself - that only hurts the shareholders, customers and employees who had nothing to do with this scandal. They've already got the recalls and fixes to deal with financially.

What they should do is find those responsible, whether it be directly or through chain of command, and put em in jail for fraud + take every dime they've got to pay out to the customers, employees, and shareholders who're getting the shaft. Start with the CEO and work their way down.
     
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Nov 9, 2015, 07:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
They really shouldn't fine the company itself - that only hurts the shareholders, customers and employees who had nothing to do with this scandal. They've already got the recalls and fixes to deal with financially.
Of course they should make the company financially responsible, the fraud has a significant impact on customers, be it resale value, emission taxes and such. Moreover, depending on your jurisdiction and date of sale, customers have the right to either ask VW for a fix or return the car outright (the sales contract may become null and void if the product differs significantly from what was promised). In Germany, VW already agreed to paying the difference in pollution taxes (cars are classified according to their emissions, and that means associated to each car there were years of back taxes).

And yes, if you are a shareholder, you have to take responsibility for making investments in a company that behaves fraudulently, that comes with the territory. In fact, shareholders will play an important role in the clean-up because they are (at least financially) interested in getting to the bottom of this and making sure it never happens again.
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
What they should do is find those responsible, whether it be directly or through chain of command, and put em in jail for fraud + take every dime they've got to pay out to the customers, employees, and shareholders who're getting the shaft. Start with the CEO and work their way down.
That'll just put some small pawns in jail with no hope of ever getting financial restitution (“You owe me 1 billion €, now pay up!”). I doubt higher management who was certainly aware will be legally implicated in this. Also keep in mind that VW is owned in significant part by the Porsche/Piëch family (the Piëchs are a branch of the Porsche family), so the principal responsibility lies on them.
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Nov 9, 2015, 08:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The only thing I am surprised about is that so far only VW has been caught cheating outright. It's hard for me to believe that no other manufacturer has had to resort to the same tricks (they're all cooking with the same water).
When it was just DieselGate, VW was the only automaker bringing a diesel to the US market without using urea injection. Mazda tried but couldn't meet US standards, so instead of gaming the system, they indefinitely postponed the release of the diesel model in the US. It should have been obvious (at least to those that don't buy into the myth of German engineering) that they were up to something if they were the only ones.

When it comes to CO2 emissions on gasoline engines, who knows. There's a fine line around outright cheating and just "teaching to the test." It sounds like VW crossed that line, and I'm certain every automaker is toeing the line as best they can.
     
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Nov 10, 2015, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
When it comes to CO2 emissions on gasoline engines, who knows. There's a fine line around outright cheating and just "teaching to the test." It sounds like VW crossed that line, and I'm certain every automaker is toeing the line as best they can.
I was thinking of rigging CO2 emissions. And there is also consumption figures which (at least in Europe) have become more and more detached from what you get in the real world. Personally, I'd like to see that the relevant environmental agencies would start testing also gasoline powered cars, not just diesels.
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Laminar
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Nov 10, 2015, 10:48 AM
 
The EPA doesn't test for CO2 emissions on gasoline cars? Do the manufacturers just self-report?
     
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Nov 10, 2015, 11:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I was thinking of rigging CO2 emissions. And there is also consumption figures which (at least in Europe) have become more and more detached from what you get in the real world. Personally, I'd like to see that the relevant environmental agencies would start testing also gasoline powered cars, not just diesels.
They do test them in Europe, the problem is that manufacturers are free to modify the test cars as they please - they put on low-friction tires that would never be legal to drive with, they tape the doors closed to reduce drag, etc. That is explicitly not allowed in safety tests - test is on the base model offered, any modification is illegal - and I don't see why the standard is different for fuel consumption testing.
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Snow-i
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Nov 10, 2015, 01:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Of course they should make the company financially responsible, the fraud has a significant impact on customers, be it resale value, emission taxes and such.
The company already will be - a fine on top of that (unless it's proceeds are distributed to the victims) would only double down on the hurt for the customers, employees and shareholders. Did you read my second sentence?

Moreover, depending on your jurisdiction and date of sale, customers have the right to either ask VW for a fix or return the car outright (the sales contract may become null and void if the product differs significantly from what was promised). In Germany, VW already agreed to paying the difference in pollution taxes (cars are classified according to their emissions, and that means associated to each car there were years of back taxes).
Yeah, and VW should absolutely be on the hook for that, as they are. A fine on top of the cleanup efforts, paid to the government, solves nothing on this front nor does it deter future management from doing the same thing (since they can apparently just walk away while the company they ruined via criminal fraud, including all of its innocent employees, customers, and shareholders pay for the mess).

And yes, if you are a shareholder, you have to take responsibility for making investments in a company that behaves fraudulently, that comes with the territory. In fact, shareholders will play an important role in the clean-up because they are (at least financially) interested in getting to the bottom of this and making sure it never happens again.
I do not think it's fair to hold the shareholders responsible for criminal fraud by the executives. Again, they're already hurting from the impacts of this. What I'm saying is a massive fine does nothing to rectify this situation or deter future acts (since the company, not the frauds perpetrators, are paying it).

That'll just put some small pawns in jail with no hope of ever getting financial restitution (“You owe me 1 billion €, now pay up!”). I doubt higher management who was certainly aware will be legally implicated in this. Also keep in mind that VW is owned in significant part by the Porsche/Piëch family (the Piëchs are a branch of the Porsche family), so the principal responsibility lies on them.
Did you read what I wrote? Start with the CEO and work your way down. "I was not aware blah blah blah" is no excuse. There's no way the engineers did this in a vacuum without at the very, very least, a wink and a nod from management. With fraud on this scale, there should be plenty of evidence to go after management. If you can't get em on fraud, get em on criminal negligence that led to the criminal act
     
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Nov 10, 2015, 02:39 PM
 
So when the CEO is being tried in court, the prosecution's main arguments are either "Oh come on guys, he surely had to have know, right?", or "He should have personally inspected each line of code in the ECU because he's responsible for anything surreptitiously placed there by an engineer."

Just like how those responsible for the 2008 housing bubble were adamant about keeping communication out of email and texts, you can be sure they made sure this wasn't documented anywhere, so there's no way of telling exactly who knew about it.
( Last edited by Laminar; Nov 10, 2015 at 10:11 PM. )
     
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Nov 10, 2015, 09:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
The company already will be - a fine on top of that (unless it's proceeds are distributed to the victims) would only double down on the hurt for the customers, employees and shareholders. Did you read my second sentence?
Yes, and I am just of a different opinion. I understand that this has ramifications for people who have done nothing wrong, but that doesn't change anything for me. It's like arguing we should be more lenient on a criminal because his family might suffer from him paying the fine and going to jail.
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Yeah, and VW should absolutely be on the hook for that, as they are. A fine on top of the cleanup efforts, paid to the government, solves nothing on this front nor does it deter future management from doing the same thing (since they can apparently just walk away while the company they ruined via criminal fraud, including all of its innocent employees, customers, and shareholders pay for the mess).
Emission taxes are not fines. But the cars' owners have to pay taxes according to the emissions the car produces, meaning that without an agreement, people who own one of the VW's implicated in the scandal would be owe the state back taxes. Of course, they could sue VW to reimburse them, but since we are talking about tens, if not hundreds of thousands of cars in Germany, that would gum up the system. The agreement between the state and VW circumvents this (relatively small) problem, but it cannot be considered a fine or so.
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I do not think it's fair to hold the shareholders responsible for criminal fraud by the executives. Again, they're already hurting from the impacts of this. What I'm saying is a massive fine does nothing to rectify this situation or deter future acts (since the company, not the frauds perpetrators, are paying it).
I have to disagree here: hefty fines do incentivize companies to do what is morally right (I'm thinking of various cases in the US where car companies did not recall cars because it was cheaper to settle on a per-case basis). And the shareholders are the ones exerting the pressure, they share responsibility because they are overseeing the executives (e. g. they can vote down candidates proposed by the company). You cannot pass the buck on this IMHO.
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Did you read what I wrote? Start with the CEO and work your way down. "I was not aware blah blah blah" is no excuse. There's no way the engineers did this in a vacuum without at the very, very least, a wink and a nod from management. With fraud on this scale, there should be plenty of evidence to go after management. If you can't get em on fraud, get em on criminal negligence that led to the criminal act
We all know this, but how likely do you think it is that the CEO and other managers in the upper echelon will ever be convicted? Slim to none. You'd have to prove that they knew of it and that they were orchestrating this. Maybe you can only prove something to the effect “I don't care how you do it, get it done!” It is much easier to implicate the programmers who contributed the illegal pieces of code or the engineers who made sure that the cheat code worked as intended.
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Nov 10, 2015, 09:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Just like those responsible for the 2008 housing bubble was adamant about keeping communication out of email and texts, you can be sure they made sure this wasn't documented anywhere, so there's no way of telling exactly who knew about it.
IMHO ambiguity suffices: A “I don't care how, just get it done!” does not directly imply you are asking your subordinates to do something illegal. Going after people is much more difficult: on the company's scale, the case is crystal clear, but if you only go after people, it'll be very hard to prove that the people in power are implicated in it.
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el chupacabra
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Nov 11, 2015, 01:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It's actually so stupid I'm really surprised they could dig this deep a hole before getting caught.

Before it dropped, whoever did this had probably convinced themselves they were a godlike master of slyboots.
Aside from the corporate shield, are any individuals going to jail or recieving a bank breaking fine?
     
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Nov 11, 2015, 01:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yes, and I am just of a different opinion. I understand that this has ramifications for people who have done nothing wrong, but that doesn't change anything for me. It's like arguing we should be more lenient on a criminal because his family might suffer from him paying the fine and going to jail.
I think this is more akin to fining the entire family for the one person's crime without individually sanctioning the offender, but I guess it's all in perspective.

Emission taxes are not fines. But the cars' owners have to pay taxes according to the emissions the car produces, meaning that without an agreement, people who own one of the VW's implicated in the scandal would be owe the state back taxes. Of course, they could sue VW to reimburse them, but since we are talking about tens, if not hundreds of thousands of cars in Germany, that would gum up the system. The agreement between the state and VW circumvents this (relatively small) problem, but it cannot be considered a fine or so.
I am referencing the EPA fine, not the individual taxes, recall costs, etc etc.

Volkswagen could face $18bn fine over secret device that 'intentionally cut emissions' - but only when cars were being tested - Telegraph


I have to disagree here: hefty fines do incentivize companies to do what is morally right (I'm thinking of various cases in the US where car companies did not recall cars because it was cheaper to settle on a per-case basis). And the shareholders are the ones exerting the pressure, they share responsibility because they are overseeing the executives (e. g. they can vote down candidates proposed by the company). You cannot pass the buck on this IMHO.
Not when the ones that perpetrate the fine resign and walk away scot free. I think it's exactly what those who implemented this defeat device are doing - passing the buck to the company while they bail out. For example, the CEO already resigned, and will not have to deal with the aftermath. He'll find a new job, leaving VW and it's investors/customers in ruin while he takes the millions he made and runs. Same for the ones that made these decisions, once they resign from VW they're off the hook.

We all know this, but how likely do you think it is that the CEO and other managers in the upper echelon will ever be convicted?
Depending on how thorough of an investigation is done? I'd say likely. You can't develop a defeat device without involving a large amount of staff, and a large digital footprint. I'd say if we were really interested in prosecuting, it'd be pretty easy. If we can spend millions and millions more to prosecute people like Kim DotCom, I think we can pull it off.

Slim to none.
So we shouldn't even try?

You'd have to prove that they knew of it and that they were orchestrating this.
Only takes one email or text message to prove this - given usual corporate data retention policies alongside sarbanes oxley, shouldn't be all that difficult to find one mid level manager - then you can offer him/her a deal to turn.

Maybe you can only prove something to the effect “I don't care how you do it, get it done!” It is much easier to implicate the programmers who contributed the illegal pieces of code or the engineers who made sure that the cheat code worked as intended.
Well, it's a start. Again, if you can get one, you can offer them a deal to turn on their managers higher up the chain. Investigate this the same way you'd investigate an organized crime ring - since that's basically what it amounts to.

Fining the company en masse punishes anyone and everyone at VW (including their customers) while letting those who committed this fraud walk away scott-free upon their resignation. In other words, you'll let them benefit from their crime while punishing everyone around them. Make no mistake, a massive fine from the EPA will affect the customers as well, considering that money will have to come from somewhere, and considering VW makes exactly all of their money from their customers, it will hit them as well as employees who will miss out on raises, benefits, etc etc due to the associated cost-cutting measures VW will have to take. R&D, marketing, service, etc will all suffer for this resulting in shittier future cars and shittier service for now. Remember, this fine is on top of all the recall costs VW will have to eat, and those that perpetrated this crime will not lose a single penny either way. It's also on top of all the class action lawsuits that will surely find in favor of the plaintiffs.

I've always hated VW cars, and would not have bought one either way, but if we want to prevent this kind of corporate shenanigans we need to hold those who break the law personally responsible - not blanket the entire company with an $18b firebomb while letting the real criminals laugh all the way to the bank on the way to their new job.
     
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Nov 11, 2015, 09:34 AM
 
I'm not quite sure why you think a) that having to resign from one's high-paying job in public disgrace isn't any sort of penalty; and b) that resigning would completely absolve anyone of penalties in the first place. If you're talking jail time, then it's a criminal act - I don't think you get to avoid criminal/fraud charges just by resigning from the job in which you committed the act....
     
el chupacabra
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Nov 11, 2015, 02:45 PM
 
It wasnt the will of the company to commit the act it was the will of individuals within the company. Therefore individuals should be punished. These individuals arent disgraced within their peer group. Theyer probably getting high fives. The opinions of the sheeple dont matter to people like this.

Unless individuals pay, it's all just a show. And the people are probably just as slybot as they think they are.
     
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Nov 11, 2015, 09:01 PM
 
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Nov 11, 2015, 10:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
It wasnt the will of the company to commit the act it was the will of individuals within the company. Therefore individuals should be punished.
I feel that you....apparently disagree with the entire concept of "incorporation"? Or do you just not understand it? I assume you would also require a small business owner to become personally bankrupt if their business has to fold? Very anti-business of you...
To be clear I do agree with the concept of piercing the corporate veil in these instances.....
These individuals arent disgraced within their peer group. Theyer probably getting high fives. The opinions of the sheeple dont matter to people like this.
No. Wrong. This sort of cover-up is not acceptable to anyone. You can try to convince yourself that this is somehow the product of Evil People and/or Corporate Overlords, but it's simply people no different than you or I, just making bad decisions on a much larger scale.

Unless individuals pay, it's all just a show.
Agreed.
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el chupacabra
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Nov 12, 2015, 02:25 AM
 
See it's like this. If I spend a number of years making 20's of millions of dollars Im rich even by a rich person's standards. Im winning the game of life. If I have a bad year where Im caught not making a mistake... but instead deliberately breaking laws conspiring to deceive multiple agencies of government, and the worst thing that happens to me is Im forced to resign or take with gold parachute; I've still won- Im just not winning as much. It's like Trump says when they try to shame him with bankruptcy accusations, "Like many big business men, I've used the laws of the country to my benefit." He's right it's just numbers - it's just business - and he won.

It has nothing to do with small business folding and owners taking the hit or my taste for incorporation. This isnt a matter of employees who damaged a company by mistake. It has to do with individuals deliberately conspiring to deceive government and not being held responsible. We'll see though, I could be wrong, but Im placing my bet on golden parachutes followed by the perpetrators getting new high ranking jobs under the radar when the cause of the moment is forgotten.

edit: breaking the company's back with fines is more likely to hurt the low level employees who may receive layoffs while not having anything to do with the conspiracy.
     
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Nov 12, 2015, 10:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I think this is more akin to fining the entire family for the one person's crime without individually sanctioning the offender, but I guess it's all in perspective.
For years Volkswagen (and hence, its employees and shareholders) have benefited from its fraudulent behavior — just like the family of a fraudulent business man benefits from all the perks that money brings. But in the end, VW has gotten this boost by cheating its customers as well as various states. And it is a fact of life that employees are affected by the financial state of their company — whether they are to blame for it or not.

Moreover, companies taking responsibilities for crimes committed by employees is part and parcel of corporate personhood. Again, you cannot just pick the convenient aspects (in the US it goes as far as “religious freedom for corporations”) and not partaking in the inconvenient ones. At the institutional level at least, proving fraud in this case is easy. And since you cannot throw a company in jail, you have to look for other avenues to incentivize the company to remain honest next time. The last bit in italics is crucial to me: if cheating is financially more attractive than being honest (even after being discovered), how can you expect companies to remain honest?
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Not when the ones that perpetrate the fine resign and walk away scot free. I think it's exactly what those who implemented this defeat device are doing - passing the buck to the company while they bail out.
I think you took my reply for me advocating that VW's managers (especially the top tier managers) should get away with what they did. I am not, quite the contrary, I think all countries involved should pool their efforts and go after them. I hope they left enough evidence for them to be implicated.

But past affairs of this nature tell me that top level managers are usually not convicted, and if there are convictions it's a few pawns that get caught up in a bigger game. I reckon it is quite easy to nail a few programmers (just have a look at the code repository and find out who contributed to the “defeat device” part of it), and perhaps also a few engineers who checked diligently that their cheat code was working. Look no further than the sub-prime mortgage scandal that threatened the whole banking system, compared to its size, how few at the top have been convicted? How many generals who leaked state secrets have had to serve hard time in jail? So while I wish for convictions, I am a realist and don't expect any.
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Well, it's a start. Again, if you can get one, you can offer them a deal to turn on their managers higher up the chain. Investigate this the same way you'd investigate an organized crime ring - since that's basically what it amounts to.
Famously, Al Capone was convicted of … tax fraud. Convicting people higher up the food chain is hard.
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Make no mistake, a massive fine from the EPA will affect the customers as well, considering that money will have to come from somewhere, and considering VW makes exactly all of their money from their customers, it will hit them as well as employees who will miss out on raises, benefits, etc etc due to the associated cost-cutting measures VW will have to take. R&D, marketing, service, etc will all suffer for this resulting in shittier future cars and shittier service for now.
Honestly, I think the main damage to VW is not the fines or anything, it is the damage to its brand. And if VW wants to fix that damage, it will have to work hard to fix that by giving better service and make better cars. Moreover, I think the company is particularly vulnerable because we are just at the onset of a big paradigm shift towards electric cars — and I think VW is not well-prepared for this at all. But that's a different story.
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Nov 17, 2015, 09:38 PM
 
It flew under the radar due to the tragic global conflict, but VW admitted that even more of their gasoline engines were cheating on CO2 on Friday night and Monday. Yikes.
     
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Jan 14, 2016, 09:04 AM
 
Anyone drive a Renault (or maybe Nissan, Infiniti, Mercedes or Smart)?

Offices raided by fraud squad, shares dropped 20%, they may be in the same emissions trouble as VW.

Renault shares plunge on factory raids by police - BBC News.

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