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    As the Diesel Emits: FTC Sues Volkswagen Over 'Clean Diesel' Ads


    • The FTC is the latest to file a suit against Volkswagen


    Another day, another lawsuit for Volkswagen over the diesel emission scandal. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against Volkswagen of America for false advertising. The suit says Volkswagen claimed in ads their diesel vehicles were clean, when actually they were polluting more thanks to illegal software.

     

    "For years Volkswagen's ads touted the company's 'Clean Diesel' cars even though it now appears Volkswagen rigged the cars with devices designed to defeat emissions tests," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.

     

    The FTC also says in the filing that consumers in the U.S. suffered "billions of dollars in injury" as a result of the illegal software.

     

    For many years, Volkswagen promoted their "clean diesel" message through various mediums - print, television, and online ads. The ads were targeted at “environmentally-conscious” consumers.

     

    Automotive News says the FTC is seeking a court order to force Volkswagen to compensate U.S. consumers who bought a diesel vehicle and an injunction to prevent the automaker doing this again.

     

    Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan tells Automotive News that the automaker has received the complaint and "continues to cooperate" with all U.S. regulators.

     

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Federal Trade Commission

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     


    FTC Charges Volkswagen Deceived Consumers with its "Clean Diesel" Campaign
    Seeks Compensation for Those Who Bought or Leased Affected VW and Audi Vehicles over Seven-Year Period

     

    March 29, 2016

     

    The Federal Trade Commission has charged that Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. deceived consumers with the advertising campaign it used to promote its supposedly "clean diesel" VWs and Audis, which Volkswagen fitted with illegal emission defeat devices designed to mask high emissions during government tests. The FTC is seeking a court order requiring Volkswagen to compensate American consumers who bought or leased an affected vehicle between late 2008 and late 2015, as well as an injunction to prevent Volkswagen from engaging in this type of conduct again.

     

    In a complaint filed in federal court, the FTC alleges that during this seven-year period Volkswagen deceived consumers by selling or leasing more than 550,000 diesel cars based on false claims that the cars were low-emission, environmentally friendly, met emissions standards and would maintain a high resale value. The cars sold for an average price of approximately $28,000.

     

    "For years Volkswagen's ads touted the company's 'Clean Diesel' cars even though it now appears Volkswagen rigged the cars with devices designed to defeat emissions tests," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "Our lawsuit seeks compensation for the consumers who bought affected cars based on Volkswagen's deceptive and unfair practices."

     

    According to the FTC's complaint, Volkswagen promoted its supposedly "clean" cars through a high-profile marketing campaign that included Super Bowl ads, online social media campaigns, and print advertising, often targeting "environmentally-conscious" consumers.

     

    For example, Volkswagen promotional materials repeatedly claimed that its "Clean Diesel" vehicles have low emissions, including that they reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 90 percent and have fewer such emissions than gasoline cars. In fact, the FTC's complaint states that they emit up to 4,000 percent more than the legal limit of NOx — a dangerous pollutant that contributes to environmental harms and respiratory ailments.

     

    The complaint alleges that Volkswagen also claimed that "Clean Diesel" vehicles met "stringent emission requirements," were "50-state compliant," and would maintain a high resale value. Yet, according to the FTC's complaint, these claims were also false because without the illegally installed software, the "Clean Diesel" vehicles would not have passed federal emissions standards and the hidden defeat devices will significantly reduce the vehicles' resale value.

     

    The FTC also charged that Volkswagen provided the means and instrumentalities for others to deceive consumers, and that installing the emissions defeat devices was an unfair practice.

     

    The affected vehicles include 2009 through 2015 Volkswagen TDI diesel models of Jettas, Passats, and Touareg SUVs, as well as TDI Audi models. The suggested sale prices for the affected vehicles ranged from approximately $22,000 for the least-expensive Volkswagen model with a 2.0-liter engine to approximately $125,000 for the most-expensive Audi model with 3.0-liter engine.

     

    The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.

     

    NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The case will be decided by the court.

     

    The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook (link is external), follow us on Twitter (link is external), read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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    The death of Diesel in America continues. Other than commercial which is moving to LNG / CNG and then heavy hauling by end users for trailers, I think diesel is dead for normal consumer cars in the US. Hybrid and EV is where it is at.

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      Max Power
      435 PS / 429 bhp / 320 kW @ 3750-5000 rpm
      Max Torque
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      Rear Brakes
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      Wheels
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      Tyres
      Pirelli 275/50R20, 285/45 R21, 285/45 ZR21, 285/40ZR22
      Steering
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      Turning circle
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      Suspension
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      Springs and dampers
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      Dimensions
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      Overall length
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      Width (across body)
      1998 mm / 78.7”
      Width (inc. mirrors)
      2224 mm / 87.6”
      Overall height
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      Fuel tank
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      Boot volume
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      Kerb weight (EU)
      2390 kg / 5269 lb
      Gross vehicle weight
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      Top speed
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      0-60 mph
      4.6 secs
      0-100 km/h
      4.8 secs
      Fuel Consumption (EU cycle) - provisional and subject to Type Approval
      Urban
      31.3 mpg / 9.0 litres/100 km
      Extra Urban
      38.2 mpg / 7.4 litres/100 km
      Combined
      35.8 mpg / 7.9 litres/100 km
      CO2 emissions
      210 g/km
      Emissions Controls
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      A bespoke mechanical Mulliner Tourbillon by Breitling clock can also be specified. The most complex of watch mechanisms, the Mulliner Tourbillon is automatically wound periodically by a dedicated high-precision winding mechanism within the car. This masterpiece is machined in solid gold (customers can select from either rose or white gold), with a choice of either a mother-of-pearl or black ebony face and decorated with eight diamond indexes.
      Effortless Bentley Performance, Unrestrained by Climate or Terrain
      The development programme for the Bentayga has been the most exhaustive in the Bentley brand’s history, ranging across five continents. From the dirt and gravel of South Africa and the dunes of Dubai, to the muddy fields of Cheshire, and from -30°C in the frozen North Cape to searing 50°C desert heat, the Bentayga’s ability to perform on any surface and even in the most extreme conditions has been proven.
      The Bentayga Diesel can be specified with Bentley Dynamic Ride – the world’s first electric active roll control technology that utilises an unrivalled 48V system. Inherent in larger vehicles with a higher centre of gravity, this system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre contact to deliver class-leading cabin stability, ride comfort and exceptional handling.
      Bentley’s adaptive and reactive system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Bentayga to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The pioneering use of a 48V system – which on Bentayga Diesel utilises a new lithium-ion battery system to offer even greater reserves of power – results in silent, instantaneous responses to deal with all road surfaces.
      Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) is also featured on the Bentayga. The new system improves feedback to the driver, while providing isolation from steering kick-back both on- and off-road. EPAS also features a variable rack ratio, permitting light and fast steering while manoeuvring at low speeds, as well as a more subdued response for excellent stability at high speeds.
      The Bentayga Diesel offers class-leading ride comfort, steering feel and handling thanks to the partnership of a highly sophisticated chassis and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). In addition to advanced, multi-mode Traction Control (TCS), the Bentayga also features Hill Descent Control.
      Hill Descent Control automatically regulates the vehicle’s speed on steep declines, allowing the driver to concentrate fully on steering and obstacles ahead. It can be pre-set at speeds between two and 30 km/h (going in either direction) and works on gradients greater than five per cent.
      As with all Bentleys, the Bentayga Diesel comes with multi-mode air suspension. The driver has four different modes to choose from: High 2, High 1, Normal and Low. High 2, for example, can be manually selected when tackling more severe off-road surfaces. Customers can also lower the rear suspension via a switch in the boot, to ease loading and trailer hitching.
      Innovative Features and Advanced Technologies
      A suite of state-of-the-art driver assistance systems and infotainment features designed to enhance safety, comfort and convenience make the Bentayga Diesel an innovative, advanced and connected luxury SUV.
      It offers the widest range of on- and off-road drive settings of any vehicle via Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Mode and optional Responsive Off-Road Settings. Up to eight modes are available, allowing drivers, at the simple turn of a dial, to select the perfect dynamic set-up for any surface or road condition. This versatility is complemented by Bentley Dynamic Ride (electrically activated 48V active roll control) and Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS).
      Responsive Off-Road Settings allows the customer to select the appropriate vehicle settings for a wide range of off-road surfaces, while the Driver Information Panel displays information on pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing and altitude.
      Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) including Stop & Go, Predictive ACC and Traffic Assist enables the driver to maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. Predictive ACC uses the navigation data, sensors and cameras to predict upcoming corners, city boundaries and speed-limit changes and can then modify the vehicle speed accordingly, improving both comfort and fuel economy.
      In urban environments, there are a number of driver aids available on the Bentayga Diesel. These systems – such as Traffic Sign Recognition, which detects a wide variety of traffic signs and displays information to the driver; Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, which uses radar technology to detect crossing traffic when reversing out of a parking space; and Top View, a system which uses four cameras to display an overall picture of the vehicle’s surroundings – combine to enhance everyday usability.
      Park Assist is also available – a system that detects suitable parking spaces (both parallel and perpendicular) before autonomous steering takes over to support parking manoeuvres, even in narrow and tricky spaces.
      Other innovative systems available include Electronic Night Vision, which uses infra-red technology to identify potential obstacles ahead, and a Head-Up Display, which reduces driver distraction and increases safety.
      The Bentayga’s eight-inch touch screen infotainment system boasts class-leading navigation technology, a 60GB hard drive, and a choice of up to 30 languages.
      Rear seat passengers benefit from the introduction of the Bentley Entertainment Tablet – a removable 10.2” Android device with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth for effortless, high-speed on-board connectivity.
      Customers can choose between three different sound systems for the Bentayga Diesel: Bentley Standard Audio, Bentley Signature Audio and Naim for Bentley Premium Audio. The latter is the most powerful system in the segment, with 1,950 watts, a network of 18 speakers and super-tweeters for unrivalled recreation of the highest audio frequencies.
      Customer deliveries will begin in Europe early next year, with entry into Russia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan planned across the rest of 2017.
      echnical Specification
      Engine
      Type
      4-litre Twin turbo with E Supercharger direct injection V8
      Max Power
      435 PS / 429 bhp / 320 kW @ 3750-5000 rpm
      Max Torque
      900 Nm / 664 lb.ft @1000-3250 rpm
      Transmission
      Driveline
      ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive, Torsen centre differential, open rear differential, 40:60 front:rear torque split
      Ratios
      1st: 4.714; 2nd: 3.143; 3rd: 2.106; 4th: 1.667; 5th: 1.285; 6th: 1.000; 7th: 0.839; 8th: 0.667
      Final Drive
      3.308
      Brakes, Wheels and Tyres
      Front Brakes
      400mm ventilated iron discs
      Rear Brakes
      380mm ventilated iron discs
      Wheels
      Standard 20”, optional 21” and 22”
      Tyres
      Pirelli 275/50R20, 285/45 R21, 285/45 ZR21, 285/40ZR22
      Steering
      Type
      Electronic Power Assisted Steering, variable ratio
      Turns lock-to-lock
      2.3 turns
      Turning circle
      12.4 m / 40.6 ft
      Suspension
      Front
      Four link double wishbones, optional 48V electric active anti-roll bar
      Rear
      Trapezoidal multi-link, optional 48V electric active anti-roll bar
      Springs and dampers
      Self-levelling air suspension, Continuous Damping Control
      Dimensions
      Wheelbase
      2995 mm / 117.9”
      Overall length
      5140 mm / 202.4”
      Width (across body)
      1998 mm / 78.7”
      Width (inc. mirrors)
      2224 mm / 87.6”
      Overall height
      1742 mm / 68.6”
      Fuel tank
      85 litres / 18.7 UK gallons / 22.5 US gallons
      Boot volume
      430 litres / 15.2 cu ft (590 litres / 20.8 cu ft load cover retracted)
      Kerb weight (EU)
      2390 kg / 5269 lb
      Gross vehicle weight
      3250 kg / 7165 lb
      Performance - provisional and subject to Type Approval
      Top speed
      168 mph / 270 km/h
      0-60 mph
      4.6 secs
      0-100 km/h
      4.8 secs
      Fuel Consumption (EU cycle) - provisional and subject to Type Approval
      Urban
      31.3 mpg / 9.0 litres/100 km
      Extra Urban
      38.2 mpg / 7.4 litres/100 km
      Combined
      35.8 mpg / 7.9 litres/100 km
      CO2 emissions
      210 g/km
      Emissions Controls
      EU 6
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