Wtf vw?


#161

There’s also the need to assess the possible cause of failure. If the company is so bad at being a business, a bailout is more questionable. You could end up propping them up forever.

For something like this, where the possible cause of failure is arguably not an ongoing issue, putting them out of business hurts a ton of people and economies. Moreover, Europeans are much more socialist than Americans.

There just isn’t a lot of good reasons why you’d want to fine a VW to death.


#162

Makes sense. The corollary, though, is that then individuals in responsible positions have to take the brunt of the fallout. So, lots of highly paid heads need to roll.


#163

I don’t think that fining corporations is useful to begin with. What’s useful is prosecuting officers and board members. But that very rarely happens. I wonder why prosecutors are so afraid of them? Well. No I don’t, really.


#164

Yeah, it definitely has no connection to the revolving door between regulatory agencies and company management. No siree!


#165

In the States, I suspect its less about fear than it is our approach to the legal fiction of corporations. You have to prove a fair amount of intent-related issues to go after a corporate officer in their personal capacity. We abide by the fiction and you have to show that the officer was acting in their own interests, rather than the company’s interest, to get them. Cheating on emissions test is very likely a dastardly act that was done for the benefit of the company.


#166

I don’t think it’s a matter of being afraid of them. It’s a matter of it being difficult to prove criminal culpability. You have to be able to prove that the officer or board member in question specifically had knowledge of the criminal scheme, and that’s a very difficult hurdle to clear.


#167

There is no need to demonstrate a crime is committed in the criminal’s self-interest. A crime is a crime regardless of who it benefits. But of course any crime committed on behalf of a company by an officer or a director is clearly in the criminal’s self-interest.


#168

New numbers have been released. 5M cars edit: of the VW brand worldwide use the faulty engine. 2.8M cars edit: not qualified by brand in Germany.

The German government demands an official statement by VW whether or not these cars can be fixed.


#169

It’s interesting that, in the GTI community and to some extent the TDI community too, VW’s ECUs are famous for being easily “tuned,” or altered by companies that specialize in this sort of thing, to get better performance, and probably subvert emissions and other controls. Stage I tuning, which is simply reflashing the ECU with different code apparently, can net you a perceptible boost in HP, about as much as you get, say, going for the “Performance package” on a 2015 GTI (which I suspect is exactly this, a rejiggered ECU mostly). So the electronics were clearly set up to be easily modified and customized.

Which does make me wonder about all the other possibilities out there…


#170

Yep, and (apologies if this is covered in the engines you’re discussing!) apparently it can apply to big trucks and working vehicles. I have a friend who still works a family farm as part of a bigger agrictulture company now, and when I posted the VW story breaking on my facebook timeline, he immediately responded “Oh yeah, we re-tuned all the VW engines in our trucks for better HP and mileage.”


#171

No, I didn’t know about the trucks; that makes sense, though. They probably use a common electronics architecture across their lines.


#172

The man who first discovered that VW was cheating (John German) tested 2 VWs and one BMW similarly over a 1200 mile drive. The VWs exceeded standards by 35x but the BMW was fine. Amazingly VW was warned about the problem, recalled 500,000 vehicles, but didn’t actually fix anything. They deliberately flouted regulations even after being called on it, having had their chance to make good at a relatively low cost with no admission of wrongdoing.


#173

And here’s why the internet and Quarter To Three are both awesome.

Most of the stuff in that Guardian article was posted by someone here in a different format days ago. Fishbreath here with the chart showing the three cars on page 2.


#174

Turns out the whole problem was a small group of rogue engineers. Thank God there was no upper-level management involved. That coulda been embarrassing!

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/25/volkswagen-appoints-matthias-muller-chief-executive-porsche-vw


#175

Things like this, though, either mean your senior leadership was in the know, which at least makes them competent, if not ethical, or ignorant, which makes them maybe ethical, but morons.


#176

Yep. Clean Diesel was a major marketing and engineering theme of VW, one of the themes that defined the brand. If senior management didn’t know of its underlying deception, then they were incompetent and certainly not deserving of the big payout the CEO received when resigning.

The sad thing is that I can believe that they did not know. I’m fairly high up in a Fortune 500 company and a lot of shit happens at my level that people above me are too afraid to tell the executive folks. And I’ll admit that I’m not willing to risk my job to pole-vault over them and say it myself to executives. In my case nothing illegal, but stuff that sometimes wanders into a gray area. Execs aren’t interested in hearing the details, they just want to hear the bottom line that they want to hear. I can see how that type of atmosphere could become the hiding of illegal activity.


#177

They don’t want to know because when shit like this happens they can say “I didn’t know” and nothing happens to em.

Plausible deniability is pretty much how corporate business works.


#178

Audi diesels were cheating too:

Volkswagen Group’s woes continue to mount as it has been confirmed that Audi used approximately 2.1 million diesel engines equipped with emissions test-cheating software.

The news mostly affects vehicles sold in Western Europe (1.42 million models), including 577,000 in Germany, and centers on the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3, and Q5 models. Audi representative Bradley Stertz also noted that about 13,000-14,000 A3 models sold in the U.S. and 1,500 sold in Canada are also affected. The greatest number of affected vehicles utilize Audi’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel.


#179

Seat admit 700,000 of their cars are using the software as well.


#180

I might not have followed this correctly, but i hope amidst the legal feeding frenzy that is winding up, VW (and ALL the others) find the time and money to fix the problem. Put in that few hundred dollar filter/thingy that will stop the current levels of pollution first (because you know, it’s an important issue and health risk for all), then worry about the fines. Is that likely?