Over 30 Volkswagen fat cats knew about lethal pollution fraud, which continues

This video from the USA says about itself:

VW Evasion Likely Led to Dozens of Deaths

5 October 2015

According to an Associated Press statistical and computer analysis, Volkswagen’s pollution-control chicanery has not just been victimless tinkering, killing between five and 20 people in the United States annually in recent years. The software that the company admitted using to get around government emissions limits allowed VWs to spew enough pollution to cause somewhere between 16 and 94 deaths over seven years, with the annual count increasing more recently as more of the diesels were on the road.

The total cost has been well over $100 million. That’s just in the United States. Engineers say, it’s likely far deadlier and costlier in Europe, where more VW diesels were sold. Scientists and experts said the death toll in Europe could be as high as hundreds each year, though they caution that it is hard to take American health and air quality computer models and translate them to a more densely populated Europe.

More about this is here.

Translated from German weekly Der Spiegel today:

The scandal of the manipulated Volkswagen diesel engines is getting bigger. The fraud, according to SPIEGEL information, was not organized by a “small group”, as the corporation maintains. Apparently at least 30 managers were involved.

From Associated Press today:

New suspect software on 2016 VW diesels under investigation

If determined to be a defeat device, it would seem to contradict the company’s assertions that a handful of rogue software developers was responsible for the emissions cheating scheme.


WASHINGTON — Volkswagen has disclosed to U.S. regulators that there is additional suspect software in its 2016 diesel models that would potentially help their exhaust systems run cleaner during government tests.

Volkswagen confirmed to The Associated Press that the “auxiliary emissions control device” at issue operates differently from the “defeat” device software included in the company’s 2009 to 2015 models disclosed last month. That disclosure triggered the worldwide cheating scandal engulfing the world’s largest automaker.

The newly revealed software makes a pollution control catalyst heat up faster, improving performance of the device that separates smog-causing nitrogen oxide into harmless nitrogen and oxygen gases.

VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said the new issue with the 2016 vehicles was first revealed last week to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California regulators.

Volkswagen has disclosed, in the application process for the model year 2016 2.0 TDI models, an auxiliary emissions control device,” Ginivan said. “This has the function of a warmup strategy which is subject to approval by the agencies. The agencies are currently evaluating this and Volkswagen is submitting additional information.”

AP first reported last week that the EPA and California Air Resources Board are investigating “the nature and purpose” of additional software on the new VW models. Regulators have not yet determined whether the code is a defeat device installed specifically to cheat on emissions tests, said Janet McCabe, acting assistant EPA administrator for air quality.

“We have a long list of questions for VW about this,” she said Tuesday at a dedication ceremony for a new heavy-duty truck testing lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “We’re getting some answers from them, but we do not have all the answers yet.”

Volkswagen already faced an ongoing criminal investigation and billions in fines for violating the Clean Air Act for its earlier emissions cheat, as well as a raft of state investigations and class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of customers.

If it is determined the new issue is a second defeat device, that would call into question recent assertions by top VW executives that responsibility for the cheating scheme lay with a handful of rogue software developers who wrote the original code installed with the company’s diesel engines starting with the 2009 model year.

The separate device included in the redesigned 2016 cars would appear to suggest a multi-year effort by the company to influence U.S. emissions tests that continued even after regulators began pressing the company last year about irregularities with the emissions produced by the older cars.

A congressional staffer briefed on the issue last week told AP that VW probably didn’t need the additional software to meet government emissions standards, but that the device appears intended to ensure the 2016 cars would pass by wider margins. The staffer spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly about the ongoing investigation.

The company’s most senior U.S.-based executive announced in congressional testimony last week that the German automaker had withdrawn applications seeking certification of its 2016 diesels because of on-board software that hadn’t been disclosed to regulators.

However, the statement by Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn left unclear whether the issue with the 2016 models was the same as that in the earlier models, or whether it potentially constituted a new violation. Manufacturers are required by law to disclose any devices affecting emissions controls as part of the process to receive the EPA certifications required to sell the cars in the country.

EPA’s McCabe wouldn’t say if VW’s failure to disclose the software in its 2016 application for emissions certification was illegal. “I don’t want to speak to any potential subjects of an enforcement activity,” she said.

VW is now working with regulators to continue the certification process needed to sell the 2016 diesel cars.

The delay is bad news for Volkswagen dealers, who had been anticipating delivery of the new models to replace older inventory which they can no longer offer to customers. Thousands of 2016 Beetles, Golfs, Jettas and Passats will remain quarantined in U.S. ports until a fix can be developed, approved and carried out.

38 thoughts on “Over 30 Volkswagen fat cats knew about lethal pollution fraud, which continues

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