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VW scandal and impact on German economy


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VW scandal and impact on German economy

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 GFIs1 
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Tell me why is it important?

Why are there only judgements and reports here about the criminal practices of car manufacturers? Quite simply, every judgement can point the way to how the next 10 or the millions of vehicles affected are dealt with in the respective country. These can be small criminal cases or the blocking of the sale of an entire brand in the respective country.
This thread is about the risks (VW Group in this case) in the diesel scandal. A court ruling for one vehicle can mean a billion fine for all exports. Therefore, the individual court rulings have to be classified, the danger assessed and implemented for the workplace.
The diesel scandal is far from over - but it is foreseeable that the criminals will have to pay for their mistakes for a longer time.
From this point of view, the expenses for court cases, withdrawal of vehicles, compensation payments, etc., which are imposed by the courts, are a big chunk in the quarterly accounts or in the annual financial statements of every vehicle manufacturer. This affects the prices for the company - and that is the task here and now.

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 GFIs1 
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In the diesel scandal, the EU Commission has called on Volkswagen to quickly compensate all European consumers. EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, who is also responsible for consumer protection, said VW should no longer "play for time" and wait for the outcome of compensation proceedings in the member states. Volkswagen must "act just as decisively outside Germany as in Germany", Reynders demanded. This was "a question of trust".
"All consumers must be compensated," Reynders said. So far, VW has shown a lack of willingness to do so. Therefore, the company is threatened with even more serious damage to its image. The EU Commission had tried several times to talk to VW about this, but had not received a positive answer. A letter from Reynders to VW CEO Herbert Diess was also published by the EU Commission.
In Germany, consumer protection organisations and VW had agreed to pay customers between 1350 and 6250 euros, depending on the age and type of the vehicle. In the Netherlands and Italy, courts had awarded consumers around 3000 euros, Reynders said. VW should now send a clear signal to customers in other countries that they will be compensated to a similar extent.
The consumer protection authorities of the 27 EU countries also admonished VW in a joint statement to "reach out to consumers in all member states who are still waiting for compensation". This is the only way to "close this chapter and avoid years of litigation".
The company had already admitted in 2015 that it had used illegal software to manipulate exhaust emissions in eleven million vehicles worldwide. According to the consumer protection authorities, around 8.5 million diesel cars are affected in the EU.
Volkswagen had recently stated that last year the group had "taken important steps to advance the legal processing of the diesel crisis in Germany". VW reached a settlement with around 244,000 customers within the framework of a model complaint. The total amount paid out was over 750 million euros.
In May 2020, the Federal Court of Justice had ruled in a landmark decision that Volkswagen must in principle pay compensation to buyers of manipulated diesel cars.
In July, the EU Commission had imposed fines totalling 875 million euros on several German carmakers in antitrust proceedings. VW accounted for the largest single amount, around 502 million euros. The proceedings concerned illegal agreements on exhaust gas purification for diesel cars.
Translated from a newspaper article of today.

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 GFIs1 
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30000 people of VW planned to skip

VW CEO Herbert Diess plans to dismiss 30k production people in Germany.
The quickly rising stock of the company shows some good support of investors.

In fact the change of complicated gas engines to simple e-motors will
imply larger reorganization. The faster the better.

From German news (n-tv and others) today.

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 GFIs1 
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Invitation
Deutsche Umwelthilfe presents new revelation in the diesel emissions scandal:
Expert report proves previously unknown defeat devices at major German car company


There is only one constant in the diesel scandal: car companies and their managers have lied and cheated - and only admitted to illegal defeat devices when they were proven to have them. This is also the case in a new explosive case. Here, those responsible had always denied that cheating software was and is in use. But now we are uncovering the truth.

An expert report commissioned by the US law firm Milberg and available to Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) identifies a whole series of previously unknown illegal defeat devices in diesel engines of a German car manufacturer. On the basis of test drives and exhaust gas measurements by the Emission Control Institute (EKI) of DUH as well as data from the engine software, the experts prove that a variety of different strategies were used to manipulate the exhaust gas aftertreatment. The result: on the test bench, the vehicles comply with the legal nitrogen oxide limits, but with a similar driving profile on the road, the nitrogen oxide emissions explode by up to 500 percent and more.

Which manufacturer is affected, the expert opinion and the technical details as well as the legal consequences will be presented at a press conference in German and English. It will be offered as a hybrid event, with a face-to-face meeting at DUH's federal office in Berlin as well as a livestream via Zoom. In both cases, registration via [email protected] is mandatory. Please be sure to indicate whether you would like to participate digitally or in person. The 2G rule applies at the federal office; only vaccinated or recovered people with proof will be admitted.

Location:

DUH federal office, Hackescher Markt 4, 10178 Berlin, top floor. Or via ZOOM - see above

Date: Friday, 5 November 2021 at 10 a.m.

Participants:

• Jürgen Resch, Federal Director DUH
• Axel Friedrich, international expert on air pollution control and consultant to DUH
• Glenn Phillips, Senior Partner of the law firm Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman (USA)


Article of a german press portal

Might be important for the future of all carmakers: positive and/or negative
AND - has some weight during the G20 in Rome and the Climate Peak in Glasgow in the same week!

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 GFIs1 
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Diesel emissions scandal 2.0: Deutsche Umwelthilfe presents expert report with eight previously unknown defeat devices in Euro 6 Mercedes E-Class



• Explosive vehicle software report by Felix Domke reveals in detail the mode of operation of previously unknown software-controlled defeat devices that drastically reduce the effectiveness of exhaust gas purification in real-world road use.

• Resch, the DUH's national director, believes that the Daimler group has been convicted of using not only temperature-controlled but also other illegal defeat devices.

• The result: On the test bench, the limit values are complied with, but in real driving conditions, nitrogen oxide emissions increase by up to 500 percent.

• DUH demands that the new German government officially recall all diesel cars with defeat devices that are still active and repair the catalytic converters.
© Sergiy Serdyuk - Fotolia


Berlin, 5.11.2021: The Stuttgart-based Daimler Group is more deeply involved in the diesel emissions scandal than previously known. This is revealed by an expert report, which the German Environmental Aid (DUH) presented in detail to the public today. In the report, automotive software expert Felix Domke, commissioned by a US law firm, documents a total of eight previously unknown defeat devices in a Mercedes-Benz E-Class with Euro 6 diesel. In the opinion of DUH, these clearly illegal so-called "defeat devices" reduce the effective exhaust gas purification by the installed SCR catalytic converter. The result: the real nitrogen oxide emissions on the road are up to 500 percent above the legal limit. Until now, Daimler AG had always denied using illegal defeat devices in diesel cars sold in Germany and Europe.

"Felix Domke's report finally convicts Daimler. It shows us for the first time how the company succeeds in complying with the legal limits in the test laboratory, while in real road operation it literally floods our cities with harmful nitrogen oxides. The manipulation of the exhaust gas purification system does not exist because it is necessary for physical reasons or for the purpose of engine protection. The reason is as simple as it is cynical: it is about maximising profits at the expense of the environment and the health of city dwellers," says Jürgen Resch, DUH's national director: "We demand from the new federal government that, as in the USA, all diesel vehicles with defeat devices in the exhaust gas purification system are either decommissioned or repaired via an official recall at the expense of the manufacturers. The World Health Organisation recently called for the nitrogen dioxide limit to be lowered from an annual average of 40 to 10 µg/m3 . To this end, all illegal sources of diesel exhaust toxins must be targeted - action must finally be taken."

In total, the expert discovered eight defeat devices and documented them in detail. Six of them are connected to the SCR system. Three of them depend on an "ageing factor" that significantly lowers the threshold values at which the defeat devices kick in. In two cases, this already happens after an ageing of about 1 percent in relation to the vehicle's service life - i.e. after a few thousand kilometres of mileage. A further reduction occurs after about 20 percent ageing. Two illegal defeat devices are connected to the vehicle's exhaust gas recirculation system. There is no plausible physical reason for any of them.

"The defeat devices found are activated in driving situations that are common on the road. Even under normal driving conditions, at least one defeat device almost always actively prevents the improvement of emissions - even if it is not necessary physically or for engine protection. This significantly reduces the amount of AdBlue injected, which is urgently needed to neutralise the nitrogen oxides in the SCR catalytic converter; similarly, the exhaust gas recirculation rate is reduced. As a result, the actually capable exhaust gas treatment hardware often only performs a fraction of the possible output, and the vehicle emits unnecessarily large amounts of nitrogen oxides," says expert Felix Domke.

The expert opinion is supported by current exhaust gas measurements taken on the road by the Emissions Control Institute (EKI) of the DUH. They show that the manufacturer Daimler has installed several illegal defeat devices in the investigated vehicle E350T of the Euronorm 6. In test bench measurements, the vehicle complies with the legal nitrogen oxide limits. However, with a similar driving profile on the road, the EKI's exhaust gas measurements show an increase in nitrogen oxide emissions of up to 500 percent and more. The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) had already demanded a software update for the model investigated here. In the updated software, the illegal defeat devices were removed. The nitrogen oxide emissions are then also below the legal limit in the road test. This underlines that the vehicle's hardware has always been sufficient to reduce emissions in compliance with the law - but that this was deliberately prevented by the software programming.

+ more text

You may download here the full documentation of the expert plus the press release:

1) documentation english
https://www.duh.de/fileadmin/user_upload/download/Pressemitteilungen/Verkehr/211104_DaimlerDieselgate/Gutachten_Abgasmanipulationen_en_geschw%C3%A4rzt.pdf

2) Graphs german
https://www.duh.de/fileadmin/user_upload/download/Projektinformation/Verkehr/dieselgate/2021-11-05_Folien_Mercedes_PK.pdf

3) Press Release english
https://www.duh.de/fileadmin/user_upload/download/Pressemitteilungen/Verkehr/211104_DaimlerDieselgate/211105_Press_release_Gutachten_Mercedes_English.pdf

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 GFIs1 
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Daimler (Mercedes) finally caught

A reference order of the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart obtained by the law firm Aslanidis, Kress & Häcker-Hollmann puts Daimler AG under massive pressure in the emissions scandal. A breach of the dam in the Mercedes diesel scandal is in the offing, because according to the information order of 9 November 2021 (Case No. 16a U 173/19), the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart, as the home court, will probably convict Daimler for the first time for exhaust gas manipulation. In the ten-page information order, the court pointed out to the defendant Daimler AG that it has not yet met its secondary burden of proof. Daimler not only has to make a detailed statement, but for the first time the competent senate is forcing Daimler to disclose which specific employees, to be named, were involved in the development of the illegal defeat devices and in which positions. In addition, it must be disclosed why these devices were installed although the Federal Motor Transport Authority later classified them as illegal. Furthermore, Daimler must explain which approaches to a solution were pursued and for what reason.

"This has a signal effect for the many thousands of parallel proceedings before German civil courts; not least also for the model declaratory action of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations against Daimler AG. This is because the senate that issued the reference order is also responsible for the model action."

source: press portal (german text translated from Nov 15 2021)

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Switzerland: first verdict against VW 6 years after start of the Diesel scandal

• In the emissions dispute, a first Swiss VW owner receives compensation.
• According to the court, the importer Amag must pay compensation.
• The case is now to be taken further.


For the first time, an owner of a VW diesel car in Switzerland has been awarded compensation. A Geneva court has ordered the importer Amag to pay compensation because of manipulated emissions tests at Volkswagen. The importer wants to appeal the decision.
Award of 17,400 Swiss francs

In its judgement of 21 October, Amag admitted that the vehicle emitted too many pollutants and was therefore unfit for traffic. This was announced by the owner's lawyer on Tuesday. His client will get back the purchase price minus an amount for the kilometres driven.

Amag must also pay the costs of the proceedings and the lawyer's fees. In total, he was awarded more than 17,400 Swiss francs. In his letter of Tuesday, the lawyer called on Volkswagen and the importer to compensate all of his affected clients six years after the "Dieselgate" affair came to light.

In a statement reported on Tuesday evening by RTS radio and television in western Switzerland, Amag announced its intention to appeal the ruling. Amag is the Swiss general importer of Volkswagen brands.

175,000 manipulations in Switzerland

In the emissions scandal, millions of VW diesel vehicles were manipulated in such a way that they showed low pollutant emissions in official tests, but were significantly more harmful to the environment in normal use than on the test bench.
The VW emissions scandal became public knowledge in 2015.

Around 175,000 car buyers and lessees in Switzerland are said to have been affected by the manipulations. About a fortnight ago, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland announced its intention to drop criminal proceedings against Volkswagen and Amag. There was no sufficient basis for issuing a criminal order or for bringing charges.

However, those affected can still claim compensation under civil law. Volkswagen has already paid out billions in the USA and Germany.

From a news channel yesterday

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BGH confirms claims for damages against Audi

Some of the scandalous engines developed by VW are also found in Audi diesel cars. Buyers are therefore entitled to compensation, the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has ruled.

BGH confirms claims for damages against Audi

The scandal engine developed by VW is partly also found in Audi diesel cars. Buyers are therefore entitled to compensation, the Federal Supreme Court has ruled.

The diesel scandal engine developed by VW is also partly in Audi cars. Plaintiffs now have improved prospects of success thanks to a ruling from Karlsruhe. The highest civil judges of the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) confirmed several rulings of the Munich Higher Regional Court (OLG), which had largely awarded the money claimed to four Audi buyers. This means that the Ingolstadt-based carmaker has been legally ordered to pay.

This is the first time that such a claim for damages against Audi has been successful before the BGH. This is because, although the EA189 engine was used in various Audi models, it was developed at the group's parent company Volkswagen. In two earlier cases, the plaintiffs therefore had a bad hand at the BGH. The judges lacked concrete evidence that someone at Audi knew about the illegal exhaust technology. An "attribution of knowledge" across the boundaries of the group companies was not possible.

The Munich judges, on the other hand, considered it inconceivable that not a single person responsible at Audi had knowledge of the manipulated control software. In their opinion, it is impossible that the engine was installed quasi blindly.

The BGH did not adopt this argumentation, but declared it "legally possible". The appellate court could only examine whether the judge of the facts - in this case the Higher Regional Court - had "dealt with the material in the trial comprehensively and without contradiction". As a result, there was nothing to object to.

Judgment not transferable to other cases

Audi called the BGH decision "wrong". It was also "not readily transferable to other cases that are still pending". "Appeal courts will therefore have to examine for each individual case whether the plaintiff's arguments meet the requirements of the BGH."

The impact of the BGH ruling is also likely to be limited because most of those affected had not filed a lawsuit against Audi, but against VW straight away. Claims for damages were much easier to enforce in this way. According to Audi, there are still a low four-digit number of open cases. Among them are cases in which the claims are probably time-barred.

In the case of VW, the BGH assumes that the use of illegal exhaust technology in millions of vehicles must have been based on a strategic decision at a high level. Authorities and customers had been systematically deceived. In reality, the cars emitted too many pollutants - only in the test did a software ensure that the limit values were complied with.

Therefore, plaintiffs who meet the requirements can in principle return their cars to VW. However, they do not get the full purchase price back, but have to take into account the kilometres driven. Against this background, VW had agreed on a settlement in tens of thousands of cases throughout the group without waiting for a court decision. These plaintiffs were allowed to keep their cars. In addition, a good 245,000 affected people had received sums of between 1,350 and 6,257 euros through a model settlement between Volkswagen and the Federal Association of Consumer Centres. Among them are also diesel owners who do not drive a VW but an Audi.

Translated from a german article in The Spiegel

Addendum: this article is about the manipulation of the EA189 diesel engine. The later EA289 diesel which AUDI has also used is not included nor bespoken here. Those plaintiffs are still in other cases...

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