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Transportation Businesses The Courts

Volkwagen Finally Pleads Guilty On 'Dieselgate' Charges (cnet.com) 115

Friday Volkswagen admitted in court that they'd committed fraud in their diesel emissions tests, also pleading guilty to falsifying statements and obstruction of justice. An anonymous reader quotes CNET: It marks the first time VW admitted guilt in any court in the world, according to a VW spokesman speaking to Reuters. The judge overseeing the case in the U.S. District Court in Detroit accepted the plea and will issue a sentence at a hearing on April 21. "The agreements that we have reached with the US government reflect our determination to address misconduct that went against all of the values Volkswagen holds so dear," Volkswagen said in an emailed statement... The road to Dieselgate's conclusion still has plenty of pavement, though. The company is still under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Internal Revenue Service. And that's in the US alone.
"VW AG is pleading guilty to all three counts because it is guilty on all three counts," the company's general counsel told the judge. Reuters also reports that VW offered to buy back half a million vehicles just in America, and agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the U.S. to address claims from unhappy owners.
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Volkwagen Finally Pleads Guilty On 'Dieselgate' Charges

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    We know how that turns out!

  • "all of the values Volkswagen holds so dear"

    Profits above everything else?

    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @02:28PM (#54023743)

      Well, the company VW might have admitted guilt . . . but the management, from the top down to the bottom have not. First, the CEO tried to blame it on "a couple of rogue programmers." Yeah, right.

      Now all the managers are singing the Sergeant Schultz Schtick: "I know nuh-thing! Nuh-thing!" Again, some engineering manager must have known that something was amiss, and this could only be kept secret by an extensive company internal conspiracy.

      The folks who will really suffer from this fiasco, besides the customers, are the simple assembly line workers, who have been or will be laid off. It's the top managers who really need to be torched for this.

      • Well, we could also talk about the poor people who have to breath in the pretty toxic stew of emissions gasses that come out of a diesel engine.

      • I'd say things are pretty easy on VW considering what they should have had to produce for all of their customers (complete corresponding source code including build tools licensed under a free software license or, for the cars that never should have been sold in the first place, buy-back of the car at whatever price the person paid).

        Management is eager to get this behind them in a way where people think it's over and done with, but there's no reason to trust any of the auto manufacturers involved in the con

        • Slightly off-topic, but has anyone else seen the slew of ads by Samsung lately? They are trying to save face by advertising some 8-point battery inspection - while showing videos of a nail being driven through the battery and at least one heat test. The monologue is "we take your safety first which is why we blah blah blah". It's a blatant attempt to save face after the multi-billion dollar fiasco from last year.

          I'm more surprised that VW finally admitted guilt after many years of fighting and pointing blam

      • The person behind it all seems to have been ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn (if not directly, then by unnecessarily causing the circumstances which led to the cheating). Winterkorn had been the head of Audi, while Wolfgang Bernhard was the head of VW. Bernhard was hired from Daimler-Benz-Chrysler, so was seen as an outsider within the VW Group (VW / Audi / Porsche). In an apparent corporate coup the former CEO was ousted by Winterkorn and the chairman. Winterkorn was crowned the new CEO, and they also got rid [businessinsider.com]
  • With all of the funny electronics running in these vehicles, unless I can audit the code being used I'm going to assume every automaker is doing the same thing and Volkswagon forgot or didn't think to pay the campaign *cough bribe cough* contributions.
    • you're not going to audit the code in your car. you're not going to audit the code in your Instant Pot.

      you want the code to be available to the community, so that others can get together and audit it.

      and no carmaker is going to permit that unless compelled to, because the code is too critical.

      so be focused on real accountability.

      i see no VW execs nor engineers yet facing the possibility of real jail time.

  • I'm not sure of the extent, but Bosch has reached a tentative settlement with the U.S. courts as well. As a Jetta diesel owner who accepted the buyback, I just received a postcard from the courts saying I'm automatically included in the Bosch settlement, unless I actively opt out. They'll be sending me a check for up to $350 once (if) the settlement is accepted by the courts. The hearing is on May 11.

    • They'll be sending me a check for up to $350 once (if) the settlement is accepted by the courts. The hearing is on May 11.

      Sounds like someone will be getting a coupon for 5 free pine tree air fresheners.

  • Hopefully this means there will be a really packed used market of ultra cheap Diesel VW's with patched firmware. The real problem here is the severity of the regulations, not the cars themselves. If passenger trucks were held to the same standard there wouldn't be a single redneck "rollin' coal" out there.

    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      The real problem here is the severity of the regulations, not the cars themselves. If passenger trucks were held to the same standard there wouldn't be a single redneck "rollin' coal" out there.

      "Severity of the regulations" should be the banner of every whining industry that's been forced to clean up their act.
      In this case, it's possible to be compliant but VW et al didn't want to implement a system that might have reduced performance or increase cost slightly.
      So they chose to lie & cheat. Not the 1st to do this, won't be the last.

      The US trucking industry is very proud that more than 1/3rd of medium & heavy commercial trucks are considered near-zero for particulate emissions, up from less

    • i haven't seen that yet.

    • That's a very good argument for much stricter regulations and enforcement on trucks. But it's a terrible argument for going lighter on cars.

      And as I understand it, a software-patched VW diesel is thoroughly nerfed anyway; and will get neither the performance nor the mileage of the one using the Konami code.

    • If passenger trucks were held to the same standard there wouldn't be a single redneck "rollin' coal" out there.

      That would be a good thing. Just like people driving SUVs who have no need to, tons of people are driving gigantic trucks who have no need to.

      I am not saying they shouldn't be able to, they should just pay more (for more road wear, more pollution, etc.,) and be held to the same standards as cars.

  • it's not a person, it's an abstract concept commonly known as a company...

    I don't suppose anyone who actually made/forced these decisions will be pleading guilty to anything? A pound of weed'll put you in jail for half a decade or more but I'm guessing these guys will just pay a token fine that's less than 1/3 what they made off the cheating.
  • Well, I submitted my buyback in December and haven''t heard a word from Volkswagon on the issue.

    On top of that, when I call about my car they consistently tell me my signed papers aren't in order, or my papers are blank, or my papers are not received from their settlement portal or they are notorized wrong...the excuses are endless, and of course all false.

    It is starting to get sorta irritating and although I signed papers to not pursue further damages, I didn't sign papers with the intention they would lie

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I refuse to comment on anything that uses that ridiculous suffix.

  • Look- it's clear from their behavior that volks wagon doesn't hold any values dear except making a profit.
    They are an amoral, asocial corporation.

    The instant their feet are not to the fire, they will return to being amoral and asocial.

    Put the CEO and management in prison for 6 months.

    THEN the volkswagon corporation may have concious because future CEO's and management will know they are personally at risk.

    • by epine ( 68316 )

      "volkswagon" here, "volks wagon" there but still you managed to type THEN in all-caps. Function key assignment? Here's a suggestion: add another function key for VW.

      Seriously, after "Volkwagon" in the article title, the powers that be don't need any further assistance.

  • Finally; now, at last, Volkswagen will be thrown in jail like it deserves. In an orange, VW shaped jumpsuit, I assume. Oh, and the fines; that will surely punish those ... um, mutual funds, maybe? Finally, justice, just like we all hoped. Now let's all take a deep breath (or, [cough], maybe not just yet).
  • Volkwagen Fnally Plads Gilty N 'Dieselgte' Chrges - FTFY
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Volkswagen should have told the American authorities to stick their fines wherever they like and pulled out of the US market completely. They may have bought it of at great cost this time, but sooner later the Americans will find or invent something else to steal billions again. Someone should send a message that it is time for them to repair their legal system and that agressive regulatory agencies functioning as a thinly-veiled protectionism tool scares away foreign investors and jobs. Playing along and h

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