German Big 3 automakers emissions cheating disaster Master Thread

CIF

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The more unbelievable news that keeps coming out about this, the more I keep thinking this could honestly permanently harm VW in the industry. It could also do major damage to the reputation of the German brands in general, as arrests and investigations are underway with BMW, Mercedes and Porsche as well.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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VW Group's new CEO Herbert Diess has been given an unusual safe-passage deal by the U.S. Justice Department. Here's the Bloomberg story:

VW CEO Given Rare U.S. Safe-Passage Deal
By Tom Schoenberg and Christoph Rauwald, with assistance by Karin Matussek - May 7, 2018

Not long after U.S. authorities filed sealed charges against Volkswagen AG’s old chief executive officer, they granted the new CEO a rare safe-passage deal.

The Justice Department agreement allows Herbert Diess, promoted last month to lead the German automaker, to travel the world freely without fear of being arrested in connection with the U.S.’s diesel-rigging investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Diess also received a spoken assurance that he would be given advance notice should prosecutors seek to charge him in its emissions cheating probe, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal is confidential. Diess, who joined the automaker a couple months before the scandal became public in September 2015, isn’t accused of wrongdoing.

The agreement essentially makes it possible for Diess to effectively run the sprawling 12-brand behemoth, which has 120 factories spread across the world. As CEO, one of his primary tasks will be hopping around the globe to represent the automaker at major events such as car shows, plant openings and new model releases. The deal was approved after the former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, was indicted under seal in March. The charges against Winterkorn, who would face arrest if he travels to the U.S., were made public on May 3.

The Justice Department agreement suggests that Diess has some concern about potential scrutiny by U.S. authorities, or at least wanted extra insurance against being detained during his frequent travels leading a global company. Volkswagen pushed back last week against a U.S. House of Representatives request for Diess to testify about the company’s efforts to address diesel-cheating, saying such a hearing is “not necessary.”

Former prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers described the deal as unusual. They said it could imply that the U.S. believes it won’t charge Diess, or that he may be providing useful information in the ongoing investigation.

Volkswagen and the U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment when asked about the special arrangement for Diess.

Diess has spent more than two decades in the German auto business, including at Robert Bosch GmbH and BMW AG. As a fresh recruit at VW, Diess participated in a routine “damage table” meeting on July 27, 2015, in Wolfsburg, where emissions irregularities in the U.S. were explained to senior managers, according to a 2016 company statement.

Key Moment
That meeting was a key moment in the conspiracy -- one where Winterkorn “approved the continued concealment of the cheating software from U.S. regulators,” U.S. prosecutors said in the unsealed indictment against the former CEO. Winterkorn’s defense team is reviewing the charges and will decide after that on the next steps, Felix Doerr, the former CEO’s German defense attorney, said in an email.

Because Diess attended that meeting, he would know what was said by Winterkorn and others when they were together in the room. Diess is already under investigation in Germany -- along with Winterkorn -- for possible market manipulation for not going public sooner about the scandal.

Winterkorn Case
It’s unclear what remarks, if any, Diess made at the gathering in question. Diess didn’t help with the case against Winterkorn, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Prosecutors routinely use safe-passage letters with witnesses and subjects of investigations that allow travel for interviews or testimony. Lawyers for possible targets are sometimes allowed an opportunity to argue against prosecution ahead of any decision to bring charges. Prosecutors also sometimes give advance notice to those about to be charged if they’re in the U.S. and not considered a flight risk, so they can turn themselves in rather than face public arrest.

But a blanket safe-passage agreement is uncommon, former prosecutors said. It’s also rare to offer to give a heads-up about impending legal action to someone who may be outside the country and couldn’t be extradited easily, these people said.

One explanation for such an arrangement is that the Justice Department isn’t finished investigating but has already determined that Diess is unlikely to be charged, said Michael Koenig, a formal federal prosecutor now at Hinckley Allen & Snyder LLP.

‘Unique Situation’
“This is certainly a unique situation, and there are likely facts that the general public is not aware of that would allow for such an arrangement,” Koenig said.

Or, Diess may be providing useful information for the wider investigation, said Andrew Friedman, a white-collar defense lawyer at Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker PA. “I would anticipate there is some level of cooperation and some level of value this individual has,” Friedman said.

Among the eight individuals charged in the case, two have been brought to court. One executive, Oliver Schmidt, was arrested in Florida while vacationing there last year. Schmidt -- one of two employees who made presentations to Winterkorn, Diess and others at the July 2015 meeting -- didn’t initially cooperate with investigators. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced in December to seven years in prison.

As for Winterkorn, Germany’s Justice Ministry said on May 4 that the former CEO wouldn’t be sent to the U.S. because the country refuses to extradite its citizens to countries outside the European Union. That means Winterkorn can’t be arrested unless he leaves his home country.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-07/vw-ceo-is-said-to-receive-rare-safe-passage-deal-from-u-s
 

IS-SV

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Yep, for those planning criminal activities, make sure it’s white collar crime ^ , lol.

But more on topic, UK passenger car diesel sales are plummeting (Europe’s 2nd biggest market).
 
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mmcartalk

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the deal is confidential.
Sounds like B.S. to me. If the deal actually were confidential, probably we wouldn't be reading about it in the auto press, unless an insider deliberately leaked it, which could possibly, depending on the circumstances, make that leaker subject to arrest. Most leakers, though, seldom get caught, because the news business is so zealously-protective of its sources.
 

isanatori

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The more unbelievable news that keeps coming out about this, the more I keep thinking this could honestly permanently harm VW in the industry. It could also do major damage to the reputation of the German brands in general, as arrests and investigations are underway with BMW, Mercedes and Porsche as well.
Deception and arrogance are features than go far beyond German Automakers.

No offense intended, I think we don't want to understand/admit the reality.
That place we call Germany today has a thousands of years tradition to deception, offensiveness and destruction of anything stands against the plans of world domination.

In the core of the German culture there is the Charlemagne mindset.
When it comes to the black pages of History (that every country has), we remember only the Nazi 3rd Reich. This is wrong! There were two Reich before the Nazi. The Saxons are the breed of the developed Europe, from the Iberian, Italian to the Netherland borders. The breed colonized and destroyed the whole world and some of the greatest civilizations got extinct thanks to it. This is the nature of our own world, that is called Western civilization.

After WW2 Germany has established the 4th Reich. German automakers are a part of the whole picture. Siemens, Novartis, ThiessenKrupp have been involved in global scandals about secret agent services, foreign countries intervention, having the role of sinner Dutch East India Company.

Today the Automotive sector is an important asset for Germany. The motivation for plots is huge. As long as the German automakers, via the EU puppet Administration, are establishing the legal framework for the EU Market and have traditionally the Chinese government support, they won't even worry about their future.

I am 100 % sure the WLTP RDE emissions standard will be shaped according to the German Automakers interests.

If I had the resources and scientific expertise, I would be establishing public forums, seeking for the methodology and advice of the research team that found the cheating. Other contribution researchers, universities would have been welcome to join the effort.
I hope individuals to be able to test cars on real roads, upload their findings on social media and bring them at public forums for discussion /evaluation /modification/re-testing.
It should be organized fast enough to prevent the crooks gaining more time by using tricks.
 

isanatori

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Some days ago in Brussels June 4th, 2018 the article below was uploaded. I bet you haven't read that news and you won't read it elsewhere.

https://euobserver.com/environment/141932

These guys are pulling out all the stops. EU Commission still on bed with German automakers. WLTP RDE is a fiasco in order to save the face of EU and their Bosses, in typical Charlemagne fashion.

From the link

The EU has rowed back on plans to allow all third parties to test vehicles' on-road air pollution after they have been sold," said the Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) in a statement.

Earlier drafts of the regulation – seen by this website – specifically gave NGOs, cities, and regions – 'third parties' – a role in the enforcement picture. That role has been removed.

In April, several NGOs told the European Commission that allowing independent groups to also do tests was essential if a new emissions scandal was to be prevented.

Third parties tests are an essential safeguard – without third parties scrutiny in the US, the Dieselgate scandal would have not been discovered, was pointed to the draft bill.

MEPs now have three months to veto the regulation – but will not be allowed to amend it.
"
To sum up, EU plots will continue to blossom, diesel will never be clean and 4th Reich is real.
 

IS-SV

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Head of Audi (Rupert Stadler-CEO) arrested, by German authorities.
 

CIF

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I keep wondering when all of this is actually going to spill out... what will we know? Who will tell it?
At this point, I'm actually wondering if the thread title should be changed? All the major German automakers are now being investigated to varying degrees for emissions-related deception. So right now this actually includes VW Group, Daimler, and BMW. I wonder if "German automakers emissions cheating disaster Master Thread" would be a more appropriate and accurate title as this point. Or perhaps "German Big 3 automakers emissions cheating disaster Master Thread" as an alternative. All news related to all the major German automaker investigations could be pooled into this thread.

TLE staff, thoughts?
 
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CIF

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At this point, I'm actually wondering if the thread title should be changed? All the major German automakers are now being investigated to varying degrees for emissions-related deception. So right now this actually includes VW Group, Daimler, and BMW. I wonder if "German automakers emissions cheating disaster Master Thread" would be a more appropriate and accurate title as this point. Or perhaps "German Big 3 automakers emissions cheating disaster Master Thread" as an alternative. All news related to all the major German automaker investigations could be pooled into this thread.

TLE staff, thoughts?
@Gecko, @Ian Schmidt, @krew, @mikeavelli, @RAL, @Joaquin Ruhi what are your thoughts about possibly changing the thread title?
 

CIF

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Thanks everyone! Yeah this sort of does expand into Opel and Fiat, but the major scandal remains with the German Big 3.
 
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CIF

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I haven't much time to post, but some quick updates about major developments:

- VW was caught using weather modification technology at a plant in Mexico, which affected farmers in the surrounding region. This is a huge scandal down in Mexico apparently. I wish I was making this up. Is the VW Group trying to become a real life Bond villain?
- The EU is now officially investigating the German Big 3 for potential collusion regarding emissions cheating. This includes all 5 German big brands: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW, and Porsche.

Again, if I had more time, I would post more details and links. If anyone has more time than me, the information is all out there on the internet to post here.
 

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@CIF don't worry , I think all of our LE community now knows everything either with reading or watching news

In short Bond villain is not enough, they are turning to Marvel Studios super villain ,lol

From emissions, to testing on animals and humans, to stock manipulations and now this

It's amazing, they're amazing in bad way I mean

As I always say they need to sell Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti & Lamborghini and totally split them from Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda & Seat, finally they did the first part as Porsche will take control of Bentley, Bugatti & Lamborghini then Volkswagen will take control of Audi, Skoda & Seat

The next logic step is Porsche sells it's 50% in Volkswagen in return Volkswagen return Porsche free again after giving it all the shares back

Only then there will be tracking on what's happening wrong and who is doing the wrong, then both entities can collaborate
 
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IS-SV

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And Porsche just announced it's dropping diesel.
 
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