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    • By William Maley
      Ever since Martin Winterkorn resigned from his post as Volkswagen Group CEO due to diesel emission scandal sixteen months ago, he has been out of the spotlight. However, Winterkorn made his first public appearance today at a parliamentary committee in Berlin investigating the emission irregularities of automobiles. At the hearing, Winterkorn maintained his innocence, saying he had no part in the cheating, nor knew anything about it.
      “It’s incomprehensible why I wasn’t informed early and clearly. I would have prevented any type of deception or misleading of authorities,” said Winterkorn.
      Winterkorn declined to answer questions dealing with when he was informed about the scandal, saying prosecutors are still investigating.
      The defense that Winterkorn is using (not having any knowledge about the scandal until the news broke) is very much at odds with his reputation of being a detail-obsessed executive.
      “It remains difficult to believe that such a dedicated engineer like Winterkorn wasn’t aware what was going on. And if he wasn’t, he neglected his duties as supervisor,” said Stefan Bratzel, an auto industry researcher at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany to Bloomberg.
      There is also a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that shows Winterkorn knew about this. A year before the scandal broke, Winterkorn was alleged to get a memo talking about the investigation into the EA128 2.0L TDI engine. He claims that he never saw that memo. There is also the allegation that Winterkorn sat in a meeting discussing the investigation.
      Before leaving the hearing, Winterkorn apologized once again.
      “What happened makes people furious -- me too. I’m deeply upset that we disappointed millions of our customers,” said Winterkorn.
      Source: Bloomberg

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    • By William Maley
      Ever since Martin Winterkorn resigned from his post as Volkswagen Group CEO due to diesel emission scandal sixteen months ago, he has been out of the spotlight. However, Winterkorn made his first public appearance today at a parliamentary committee in Berlin investigating the emission irregularities of automobiles. At the hearing, Winterkorn maintained his innocence, saying he had no part in the cheating, nor knew anything about it.
      “It’s incomprehensible why I wasn’t informed early and clearly. I would have prevented any type of deception or misleading of authorities,” said Winterkorn.
      Winterkorn declined to answer questions dealing with when he was informed about the scandal, saying prosecutors are still investigating.
      The defense that Winterkorn is using (not having any knowledge about the scandal until the news broke) is very much at odds with his reputation of being a detail-obsessed executive.
      “It remains difficult to believe that such a dedicated engineer like Winterkorn wasn’t aware what was going on. And if he wasn’t, he neglected his duties as supervisor,” said Stefan Bratzel, an auto industry researcher at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany to Bloomberg.
      There is also a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that shows Winterkorn knew about this. A year before the scandal broke, Winterkorn was alleged to get a memo talking about the investigation into the EA128 2.0L TDI engine. He claims that he never saw that memo. There is also the allegation that Winterkorn sat in a meeting discussing the investigation.
      Before leaving the hearing, Winterkorn apologized once again.
      “What happened makes people furious -- me too. I’m deeply upset that we disappointed millions of our customers,” said Winterkorn.
      Source: Bloomberg
    • By William Maley
      BMW has been in a holding pattern in terms of producing diesel vehicles for the U.S. as they were awaiting approval from the EPA retesting diesel vehicles. Soon, 2017 model year diesel vehicles will be rolling off BMW's assembly lines and heading off to the U.S.
      "Diesel models will be going into production shortly at our manufacturing plants," said Rebecca K. Kiehne, product & technology spokesperson at BMW of North America to Green Car Reports.
      As we reported back in October, the EPA was holding back the certifications on a number of diesel vehicles as they subjecting them to new tests to uncover possible cheating - thanks Volkswagen. In our report, BMW said they would not start production of the 3-Series and X3 diesel models until the end of the year. Production of the X5 diesel would begin in January. 
      The production restart of BMW's diesels comes at an interesting time. The EPA is currently investigating the 3.0L EcoDiesel used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 for possible violations of the clean air act. Over at Volkswagen, the board has given the ok for the $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice over the diesel emission scandal. 
      Source: Green Car Reports

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