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    Volkswagen To End Production Of Current Phaeton Next March


    • Next March, Volkswagen Will End Production of the Phaeton

    We knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when. In March, Volkswagen will end production of the current Phaeton at the Dresden plant. A pet project of former Chairman Ferdinand Piëch, the Phaeton never gained traction in the luxury flagship market for over a decade. Last year, Volkswagen only built 4,000 Phaetons.

     

    Volkswagen will bring back the Phaeton nameplate in 2020 for a fully electric luxury sedan.

     

    As for the Dresden plant where the Phaeton is built, it will be renovated to build an upcoming electric vehicle. Carsten Krebs, a spokesman at the factory tells Bloomberg that the renovation will take about year to complete.

     

    Source: Bloomberg

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    Surprised it took this long to kill off a money loosing, sad attempt at a luxury auto at VW. Wonder how much the unions had sway in regards to this. I think VW has plenty more auto's to kill off as it cleans house and moves to be a better run, more profitable company.

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    It wasnt a sad attempt at luxury though...

    Cadillac in 2015 STILL does not have a car worthy of this Phaeton...as the CT6 is not available yet...

     

    It really is embarrassing that it took Cadillac THIS long to get a car going in this league...a DECADE...

     

    HA! MORE THAN A DECADE!!!!

     

    Sorry if you dont agree, but the Phaeton was an engineering marvel. It just wore the wrong badge on the hood.

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    Dead!

    Dead as a doornail.

    .... though I don't know what is particularly dead about a door nail.

    I wouldn't think a door nail to be the deadest bit of iron muggary in the trade...

    Why not dead as a door knob? or a door knocker?

    Well, nail, knob, or knocker, the Phaeton is dead. </with appologies to Charles Dickens>

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    It wasnt a sad attempt at luxury though...

    Cadillac in 2015 STILL does not have a car worthy of this Phaeton...as the CT6 is not available yet...

     

    It really is embarrassing that it took Cadillac THIS long to get a car going in this league...a DECADE...

     

    HA! MORE THAN A DECADE!!!!

     

    Sorry if you dont agree, but the Phaeton was an engineering marvel. It just wore the wrong badge on the hood.

    The Phaeton was VW version of the Cadillac Catera. The car was too small for most Americans, no rear room and a funky weird layout of the dash. Only thing interesting was the engineering feet with the motor. Other wise this auto was a failure like the Catera.

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    It was a Bentley in VW clothing. Essentially, it was better than the A8 at one point.

     

    It's like the Chevy Camaro in that respect. But it was also to a nonsensical degree, to uplift a brand by giving it the means to produce a sedan that underneath is an ultra-luxury behemoth.

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    It was a Bentley in VW clothing. Essentially, it was better than the A8 at one point.

     

    It's like the Chevy Camaro in that respect. But it was also to a nonsensical degree, to uplift a brand by giving it the means to produce a sedan that underneath is an ultra-luxury behemoth.

    That is exactly what I wanted to say...but I figured I did not want to waste my energy trying to explain what the Phaeton was/is...This car debuted in 2002...You know...13 years have passed...if people havent learned what this car was all about in 13 years, there is no sense in me wasting my time and energy trying to teach.

     

    I was ignorant about this car in 2002. I hated it. I hated VW for it. But sometime between 2002 and 2015, I read up on it and learned about it and soon, my hatred disappeared at the same rate as my ignorance...

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    The original Phaeton was a great piece of engineering. They sold it under the wrong brand. You have luxury brands to sell luxury cars. Now the thing is so dated and last it's prime it is sad. This is a mercy killing for sure.

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    To bring it back in 2020 as full electric just means they have no place for it in the VW lineup.  Why even spend the R&D money when no one will want it then either.

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    It was a Bentley in VW clothing. Essentially, it was better than the A8 at one point.

     

    It's like the Chevy Camaro in that respect. But it was also to a nonsensical degree, to uplift a brand by giving it the means to produce a sedan that underneath is an ultra-luxury behemoth.

    That is exactly what I wanted to say...but I figured I did not want to waste my energy trying to explain what the Phaeton was/is...This car debuted in 2002...You know...13 years have passed...if people havent learned what this car was all about in 13 years, there is no sense in me wasting my time and energy trying to teach.

     

    I was ignorant about this car in 2002. I hated it. I hated VW for it. But sometime between 2002 and 2015, I read up on it and learned about it and soon, my hatred disappeared at the same rate as my ignorance...

    For what the Phaeton can do and was engineered to do, I respect it. I admire them as cars, and as a big lux sedan lover, I've looked into them on the used market. However, I cannot get around the extremely expensive care and feeding of them... even by German Uber Sedan standards.

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    It was a Bentley in VW clothing. Essentially, it was better than the A8 at one point.

     

    It's like the Chevy Camaro in that respect. But it was also to a nonsensical degree, to uplift a brand by giving it the means to produce a sedan that underneath is an ultra-luxury behemoth.

    That is exactly what I wanted to say...but I figured I did not want to waste my energy trying to explain what the Phaeton was/is...This car debuted in 2002...You know...13 years have passed...if people havent learned what this car was all about in 13 years, there is no sense in me wasting my time and energy trying to teach.

     

    I was ignorant about this car in 2002. I hated it. I hated VW for it. But sometime between 2002 and 2015, I read up on it and learned about it and soon, my hatred disappeared at the same rate as my ignorance...

    For what the Phaeton can do and was engineered to do, I respect it. I admire them as cars, and as a big lux sedan lover, I've looked into them on the used market. However, I cannot get around the extremely expensive care and feeding of them... even by German Uber Sedan standards.

     

    I am not  surprise  at all from what you are suggesting to me that the Phaeton is one finicky vehicle.

    I believe you, sir. I have no reasons to doubt you.

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    It was a Bentley in VW clothing. Essentially, it was better than the A8 at one point.

     

    It's like the Chevy Camaro in that respect. But it was also to a nonsensical degree, to uplift a brand by giving it the means to produce a sedan that underneath is an ultra-luxury behemoth.

    That is exactly what I wanted to say...but I figured I did not want to waste my energy trying to explain what the Phaeton was/is...This car debuted in 2002...You know...13 years have passed...if people havent learned what this car was all about in 13 years, there is no sense in me wasting my time and energy trying to teach.

     

    I was ignorant about this car in 2002. I hated it. I hated VW for it. But sometime between 2002 and 2015, I read up on it and learned about it and soon, my hatred disappeared at the same rate as my ignorance...

    For what the Phaeton can do and was engineered to do, I respect it. I admire them as cars, and as a big lux sedan lover, I've looked into them on the used market. However, I cannot get around the extremely expensive care and feeding of them... even by German Uber Sedan standards.

     

    A luxury car for people under 5' 10" tall. Had some great engineering but over all was over rated.

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    It was a Bentley in VW clothing. Essentially, it was better than the A8 at one point.

     

    It's like the Chevy Camaro in that respect. But it was also to a nonsensical degree, to uplift a brand by giving it the means to produce a sedan that underneath is an ultra-luxury behemoth.

    That is exactly what I wanted to say...but I figured I did not want to waste my energy trying to explain what the Phaeton was/is...This car debuted in 2002...You know...13 years have passed...if people havent learned what this car was all about in 13 years, there is no sense in me wasting my time and energy trying to teach.

     

    I was ignorant about this car in 2002. I hated it. I hated VW for it. But sometime between 2002 and 2015, I read up on it and learned about it and soon, my hatred disappeared at the same rate as my ignorance...

    For what the Phaeton can do and was engineered to do, I respect it. I admire them as cars, and as a big lux sedan lover, I've looked into them on the used market. However, I cannot get around the extremely expensive care and feeding of them... even by German Uber Sedan standards.

     

    A luxury car for people under 5' 10" tall. Had some great engineering but over all was over rated.

     

    Not over rated, but rather UNDER rated hence why it is no longer.

    Like Ive stated before, wrong badge on the hood.

     

    About the 5'10" thing...

    I highly doubt that...I have sat in one, but Im fairly short...Ill just go with Jeremy Clarkson...

     

     

    I take it that Clarkson is one tall gent...6.'4" high...I googled...and google told me 1.96 meters in which I used google conversion after that...and he seems to fit quite snuggly in the driver's seat...and quite comfilly   in the back with that nice tall blonde...

    so...sorry DFELT if I doubt your assumption...

     

    And seeing this car is practically the same as a Bentley Continental GT in which many many NBA superstars bought...Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, NFL guys like RG III and Darren McFadden

     

     

    Bentley-Continental-GT-mc.jpg

     

    I dont think what you are saying holds too much water....sorry.

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    Having been in the actual auto. Once I have the front seat set, getting out, only kids could sit behind me. At 6'6" the sedan fails to hold 4 adults in my family. German and all tall like me so I stand by my remarks and clearly they moved the drivers seat up to allow him to have room for the tea bit.

     

    Any tall person can fit in any car if you do not worry about fitting others in. For me, this car fails due to the roof line and lake of headroom in the backseat as I hate the coupe look. While this has a bit more headroom over the new trend of all auto's looking like coupes, it still fails for a big person like me. 

     

    I will stay with my full size SUV's thank you, :)

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    Having been in the actual auto. Once I have the front seat set, getting out, only kids could sit behind me. At 6'6" the sedan fails to hold 4 adults in my family. German and all tall like me so I stand by my remarks and clearly they moved the drivers seat up to allow him to have room for the tea bit.

     

    Any tall person can fit in any car if you do not worry about fitting others in. For me, this car fails due to the roof line and lake of headroom in the backseat as I hate the coupe look. While this has a bit more headroom over the new trend of all auto's looking like coupes, it still fails for a big person like me. 

     

    I will stay with my full size SUV's thank you, :)

     

    Your last sentence is what gives your bias away...

     

    @ 6'6" tall, there arent many vehicles that fit your body anyway...and so probably the ONLY vehicles you fit in ARE fullsized SUVs...so THAT makes it less of an engineering problem from VW and more of a genetic deformality  on your part... :o

     

    Dont take the last thing that I said too personal, I just have height envy. You are exactly 1 foot taller than I...

    OK...maybe 11.5 inches taller. Im 5'6 1/2"

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    Having been in the actual auto. Once I have the front seat set, getting out, only kids could sit behind me. At 6'6" the sedan fails to hold 4 adults in my family. German and all tall like me so I stand by my remarks and clearly they moved the drivers seat up to allow him to have room for the tea bit.

     

    Any tall person can fit in any car if you do not worry about fitting others in. For me, this car fails due to the roof line and lake of headroom in the backseat as I hate the coupe look. While this has a bit more headroom over the new trend of all auto's looking like coupes, it still fails for a big person like me. 

     

    I will stay with my full size SUV's thank you, :)

     

    Your last sentence is what gives your bias away...

     

    @ 6'6" tall, there arent many vehicles that fit your body anyway...and so probably the ONLY vehicles you fit in ARE fullsized SUVs...so THAT makes it less of an engineering problem from VW and more of a genetic deformality  on your part... :o

     

    Dont take the last thing that I said too personal, I just have height envy. You are exactly 1 foot taller than I...

    OK...maybe 11.5 inches taller. Im 5'6 1/2"

     

     

    No offense taken :roflmao: Just an American Born full German where I am average for my family. My sisters are a bit shorter at 6'2" and 5' 10" tall. :P

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    If your sisters are blonde and blued eyed, I think Id be in love.  :wub:

    Id gladly be at their mercy. 

    Nothing is more sexier than a tall, blonde, blue eyed German girl.

    OK...Nordic girls in general. Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, German....

     

    But alas, I bagged myself a Greek Goddess. I dont know how I did it, but I did it.

    She has a face worthy  to launch a 1000 ships across an ocean....

    And best of all, a heart of gold....

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    If your sisters are blonde and blued eyed, I think Id be in love.  :wub:

    Id gladly be at their mercy. 

    Nothing is more sexier than a tall, blonde, blue eyed German girl.

    OK...Nordic girls in general. Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, German....

     

    But alas, I bagged myself a Greek Goddess. I dont know how I did it, but I did it.

    She has a face worthy  to launch a 1000 ships across an ocean....

    And best of all, a heart of gold....

    Very Cool, Greek woman are freakin hot to me especially brunettes with brown eye's! :D

     

    Oldest and tallest sister takes after my moms side of the family, Blonde and Blue eye, very German.

    My middle sister takes after my dads side brunette and brown eyes.

     

    Then little ol me is Hazel eyes with brunette hair.

     

    Go figure, I tease my mom all the time about are you sure I am not the milk mans son? But then I look just like dad, so nope. :P

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    If this thread in actuality is about how to bag an awesome female companion for holy matrimony....

     

    I'm game!! Gimme all the quick-tip quickies!

     

    So yes, all I have to be is like a stealth wealth Phaeton of a truck....and to Old's point about heart of gold...4.2L V8, yes, yes.....great point there. So, 6.2 should cover nicely...

     

    Okay so I just have to get a VW Phaeton kind of lady while I'm transforminated into GMC Denali, emphasis on Precision and a life theme like Eminence Front from Jeep Comanche....

     

    Yes. Anything more gents?

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      “Every day our employees exhibit professionalism and passion for achieving quality. We are categorically building the best cars Holden has ever built and that is backed up by internal and external data. They simply are a fantastic team that will ensure our last locally-made car is also our best car ever.”

      Holden has assembled vehicles for domestic and export markets at the Elizabeth plant since 1963 and will continue to manufacture the world-class Holden Commodore range there until October 20, with nearly 1000 employees remaining at the Elizabeth plant in production, engineering and support roles until production ends. There are no plans for any further workforce reductions ahead of October 20.
      Of the nearly 700 people who have left Holden’s Elizabeth plant since 2015, 80 per cent have successfully transitioned within 12 months of leaving (69 per cent employed, 5 per cent in training, 3 per cent have retired and 3 per cent are volunteering).
      Holden’s Transition Support program will continue to prepare job seekers for new careers and support those opting for retirement until well after the factory closes.

      During 2016, the Elizabeth plant was recognised with two awards for safety and financial performance within General Motors International.

      All Holden employees leaving the business have access to a suite of transition services and up to $3000 in approved training and $500 for financial advice - all part of Holden’s $15 million contribution to the federal government-led Growth Fund for specific support of automotive manufacturing employees.

      Holden’s Transition Centre was opened at its Elizabeth plant in 2014 to provide a range of support services including information sessions, workshops, career counselling, employment expos, resume writing, interview skills preparation and more.

      Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said Holden’s manufacturing workforce had set new benchmarks for quality and performance in the past four years.

      “They have continually pushed to improve the quality of their work for the benefit of our customers – this commitment, continuous improvement attitude and passion have been exhibited in spades in challenging circumstances,” Mr Bernhard said.

      “It’s not surprising that their skills, work ethic and flexibility are highly sought after and they are leaving a legacy for Holden that deserves to be honoured by ensuring this company has a bright and successful future.

      “Holden continues to change but we are proud to retain a significant presence in Australia for the long-term that includes more than 300 people across our local design and engineering workforces, in addition to the approximately 700 corporate staff and 10,000 people employed across our dealer network. Holden remains committed to Australia and our customers for many, many years to come”.
      Holden Transition Support
      Holden acknowledges the impact the end of local manufacturing has on our people and their families, across the country and throughout the industry. We are doing everything in our power to allow our people to make considered choices and help them move onto their next opportunity. Every Holden worker leaving the business has access to a suite of transition services and up to $3000 in approved training; all part of Holden’s $15 million contribution to the federal government’s Growth Fund for specific support of our manufacturing and engineering employees. The Transition Centre established at Holden’s Elizabeth plant is open to employees, contractors and supplier employees. As a result of Holden’s world-class transition services, about 80 per cent of people who have left the business have gone on to find other work. This does not include those who chose to retire or made personal decisions not to seek work. Holden has proactively engaged with HR and business leaders in South Australia and interstate, who have toured the Elizabeth site and viewed the variety of skills and capabilities of our workforce. Employees who have secured another job have been able to access an early voluntary separation package, helping them to take up opportunities. Holden’s Transition Centre at Elizabeth opened in 2014, after significant research into global best practice and consultation with employees and partner organisations.
      Support and services for employees includes:
      Up to $3000 training funds Career counselling Financial advice and superannuation support Coaching sessions to develop individual tailored plans Information on career pathways, training providers and courses Industry information sessions Careers and training expos Computer training Jobs vacancy board Dedicated staff to help answer questions Resume and job application writing workshops Interview training Networking training Job search training Department of Human Services (representatives and self-service kiosks) Resume writing workshops NewAccess program (BeyondBlue/BeyondAuto)
      Future of Holden:
      Holden will launch 24 major vehicles and 36 new drivetrain combinations by the end of 2020 Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria, along with advanced engineering capabilities Holden’s Global Design centre continues to be based in Port Melbourne, contributing to local and global product programs Holden will retain more than 300 designers and engineers beyond 2017 This is in addition to approximately 700 corporate staff and 10,000 people employed across the 230-strong Holden dealer network More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe; with vehicles also being sourced from North America and Asia The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on from 2018 with Holden’s next-generation large car Home Ground Advantage, Holden’s $5 million, 10-year commitment to grassroots sporting clubs has been a huge success with more than 5000 entries since launch Holden has launched the biggest Capped Price Servicing Program in the country, covering every Holden ever built.
    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen will be cutting another big check. Today, the company announced that it had reached a settlement with Department of Justice over the criminal case on the diesel emission scandal. Volkswagen will plead guilty to three criminal felony charges and will pay $4.3 billion - $2.8 billion for the fine and $1.5 billion to settle civil cases. The settlement also requires an independent monitor to watch over the company for the next years. 
      Volkswagen's board still needs to approve this settlement, but the company says the approval could happen today or tomorrow. If they waited, the parties would have to do it all over again with new people coming as part of President-elect Trump's team.
      “Today’s actions reflect the Justice Department’s steadfast commitment to defending consumers, protecting our environment and our financial system and holding individuals and companies accountable for corporate wrongdoing. In the days ahead, we will continue to examine Volkswagen’s attempts to mislead consumers and deceive the government. And we will continue to pursue the individuals responsible for orchestrating this damaging conspiracy,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch in a statement.
      In addition, six Volkswagen executives and employees have been charged with their involvement in the scandal. They include, 
      Richard Dorenkamp - In charge of Volkswagen’s Engine Development After-Treatment Department from 2003 to 2013. This department is where the cheat was developed. Bernd Gottweis - Volkswagen's supervisor responsible for Quality Management and Product Safety between 2007 to October 2014. Jens Hadler - Head of powertrain development from 2007 to 2011. Heinz-Jakob Neusser - Head of powertrain development from 2011 to 2013, suspended by Volkswagen back in 2015. Jürgen Peter - Worked in Volkswagen's Quality Management and Product Safety Group from 1990 to now. For a few months in 2015, he was a liaison for various regulatory agencies. Oliver Schmidt - Volkswagen's liaison with U.S. environmental regulators. He was arrested on Sunday in Miami as he was returning to Germany. Source: Department of Justice, Bloomberg, Reuters
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Volkswagen AG Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay $4.3 Billion in Criminal and Civil Penalties; Six Volkswagen Executives and Employees are Indicted in Connection with Conspiracy to Cheat U.S. Emissions Tests
      VW to Pay $2.8 Billion Criminal Fine in Guilty Plea and $1.5 Billion Settlement of Civil Environmental, Customs and Financial Violations; Monitor to Be Appointed to Oversee the Parent Company Volkswagen AG (VW) has agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts and pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty as a result of the company’s long-running scheme to sell approximately 590,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. by using a defeat device to cheat on emissions tests mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and lying and obstructing justice to further the scheme, the Justice Department announced today.
      In separate civil resolutions of environmental, customs and financial claims, VW has agreed to pay $1.5 billion. This includes EPA’s claim for civil penalties against VW in connection with VW’s importation and sale of these cars, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claims for customs fraud. In addition, the EPA agreement requires injunctive relief to prevent future violations. The agreements also resolve alleged violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).
      The Criminal Case:
      VW is charged with and has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and VW’s U.S. customers and to violate the Clean Air Act by lying and misleading the EPA and U.S. customers about whether certain VW, Audi and Porsche branded diesel vehicles complied with U.S. emissions standards, using cheating software to circumvent the U.S. testing process and concealing material facts about its cheating from U.S. regulators. VW is also charged with obstruction of justice for destroying documents related to the scheme, and with a separate crime of importing these cars into the U.S. by means of false statements about the vehicles’ compliance with emissions limits. Under the terms of the plea agreement, which must be accepted by the court, VW will plead guilty to all these crimes, will be on probation for three years, will be under an independent corporate compliance monitor who will oversee the company for at least three years, and agrees to fully cooperate in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation and prosecution of individuals responsible for these crimes.
      In addition, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Michigan returned an indictment today charging six VW executives and employees for their roles in the nearly 10-year conspiracy. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, 56; Jens Hadler, 50; Richard Dorenkamp, 68; Bernd Gottweis, 69; Oliver Schmidt, 48; and Jürgen Peter, 59, all of Germany, are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, defraud VW’s U.S. customers and violate the Clean Air Act by making false representations to regulators and the public about the ability of VW’s supposedly “clean diesel” vehicles to comply with U.S. emissions requirements. The indictment also charges Dorenkamp, Neusser, Schmidt and Peter with Clean Air Act violations and charges Neusser, Gottweis, Schmidt and Peter with wire fraud counts. This case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox of the Eastern District of Michigan.
      Schmidt was arrested on Jan. 7, 2017, in Miami during a visit to the United States and appeared in federal court there on Monday. The other defendants are believed to presently reside in Germany.
      Today’s announcement was made by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Acting Deputy Secretary Russell C. Deyo for the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
      “Volkswagen’s attempts to dodge emissions standards and import falsely certified vehicles into the country represent an egregious violation of our nation’s environmental, consumer protection and financial laws,” said Attorney General Lynch. “Today’s actions reflect the Justice Department’s steadfast commitment to defending consumers, protecting our environment and our financial system and holding individuals and companies accountable for corporate wrongdoing. In the days ahead, we will continue to examine Volkswagen’s attempts to mislead consumers and deceive the government. And we will continue to pursue the individuals responsible for orchestrating this damaging conspiracy.”
      “When Volkswagen broke the law, EPA stepped in to hold them accountable and address the pollution they caused,” said EPA Administrator McCarthy. “EPA’s fundamental and indispensable role becomes all too clear when companies evade laws that protect our health. The American public depends on a strong and active EPA to deliver clean air protections, and that is exactly what we have done.”
      “This wasn’t simply the action of some faceless, multinational corporation,” said Deputy Attorney General Yates. “This conspiracy involved flesh-and-blood individuals who used their positions within Volkswagen to deceive both regulators and consumers. From the start of this investigation, we’ve been committed to ensuring that those responsible for criminal activity are held accountable. We’ve followed the evidence—from the showroom to the boardroom—and it brought us to the people whose indictments we’re announcing today.”
      “Americans expect corporations to operate honestly and provide accurate information,” said Deputy Director McCabe. “Volkswagen’s data deception defrauded the U.S. government, violated the Clean Air Act and eroded consumer trust. This case sends a clear message to corporations, no matter how big or small, that if you lie and disregard rules that protect consumers and the environment, you will be caught and held accountable.”
      “Blatant violations of U.S. customs and environmental laws will not be tolerated, and this case reinforces that,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Deyo. “These actions put our economy, consumers and citizens at risk, and the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to take every step necessary to protect the American people.”
      According to the indictment, the individuals occupied the following positions within the company:
      Heinz-Jakob Neusser: from July 2013 until September 2015, Neusser worked for VW as head of Development for VW Brand and was also on the management board for VW Brand. From October 2011 until July 2013, Neusser served as the head of Engine Development for VW. Jens Hadler: from May 2007 until March 2011, Hadler worked for VW as head of Engine Development for VW. Richard Dorenkamp: from 2003 until December 2013, Dorenkamp worked for VW as the head of VW’s Engine Development After-Treatment Department in Wolfsburg, Germany. From 2006 until 2013, Dorenkamp led a team of engineers that developed the first diesel engine that was designed to meet the new, tougher emissions standards in the United States. Bernd Gottweis: from 2007 until October 2014, Gottweis worked for VW as a supervisor with responsibility for Quality Management and Product Safety. Oliver Schmidt: from 2012 through February 2015, Schmidt was the General Manager in charge of the Environment and Engineering Office, located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. From February 2015 through September 2015, Schmidt returned to VW headquarters to work directly for Neusser, including on emissions issues. Jürgen Peter: Peter worked in the VW Quality Management and Product Safety Group from 1990 until the present. From March 2015 until July 2015, Peter was one of the VW liaisons between the regulatory agencies and VW. According to the charging documents and statement of facts filed with the court, in 2006, VW engineers began to design a new diesel engine to meet stricter U.S. emissions standards that would take effect by model year 2007. This new engine would be the cornerstone of a new project to sell diesel vehicles in the United States that would be marketed to buyers as “clean diesel,” a project that was an important strategic goal for VW’s management. When the co-conspirators realized that they could not design a diesel engine that would both meet the stricter NOx emissions standards and attract sufficient customer demand in the U.S. market, they decided they would use a software function to cheat standard U.S. emissions tests.
      VW engineers working under Dorenkamp and Hadler designed and implemented a software to recognize whether a vehicle was undergoing standard U.S. emissions testing on a dynamometer or it was being driven on the road under normal driving conditions. The software accomplished this by recognizing the standard published drive cycles. Based on these inputs, if the vehicle’s software detected that it was being tested, the vehicle performed in one mode, which satisfied U.S. NOx emissions standards. If the software detected that the vehicle was not being tested, it operated in a different mode, in which the vehicle’s emissions control systems were reduced substantially, causing the vehicle to emit NOx up to 40 times higher than U.S. standards.
      Disagreements over the direction of the project were articulated at a meeting over which Hadler presided, and which Dorenkamp attended. Hadler authorized Dorenkamp to proceed with the project knowing that only the use of the defeat device software would enable VW diesel vehicles to pass U.S. emissions tests. Starting with the first model year 2009 of VW’s new “clean diesel” engine through model year 2016, Dorenkamp, Neusser, Hadler and their co-conspirators installed, or caused to be installed, the defeat device software into the vehicles imported and sold in the United States. In order to sell their “clean diesel” vehicles in the United States, the co-conspirators lied to the EPA about the existence of their test-cheating software, hiding it from the EPA, CARB, VW customers and the U.S. public. Dorenkamp, Neusser, Hadler, Gottweis, Schmidt, Peter and their co-conspirators then marketed, and caused to be marketed, VW diesel vehicles to the U.S. public as “clean diesel” and environmentally-friendly.
      Around 2012, hardware failures developed in certain of the diesel vehicles. VW engineers believed the increased stress on the exhaust system from being driven in the “dyno mode” could be the cause of the hardware failures. In July 2012, VW engineers met with Neusser and Gottweis to explain what they believed to be the cause of the hardware failures and explained the defeat device. Gottweis and Neusser each encouraged further concealment of the software. In 2014, the co-conspirators perfected their cheating software by starting the vehicle in “street mode,” and, when the defeat device realized the vehicle was being tested, switching to the “dyno mode.” To increase the ability of the vehicle’s software to recognize that it was being tested on the dynamometer, the VW engineers activated a “steering wheel angle recognition feature.” With these alterations, it was believed the stress on the exhaust system would be reduced because the engine would not be operating for as long in “dyno mode.” The new function was installed in existing vehicles through software updates. The defendants and other co-conspirators falsely represented, and caused to be represented, to U.S. regulators, U.S. customers and others that the software update was intended to improve durability and emissions issues in the vehicles when, in fact, they knew it was used to more quickly deactivate emission control systems when the vehicle was not undergoing emissions tests.
      After years of VW selling their “clean diesel” vehicles in the United States that had the cheating software, in March 2014, West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions published the results of a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). The ICCT study identified substantial discrepancies in the NOx emissions from certain VW vehicles when tested on the road compared to when these vehicles were undergoing EPA and CARB standard drive cycle tests on a dynamometer. Rather than tell the truth, VW employees, including Neusser, Gottweis, Schmidt and Peter, pursued a strategy to disclose as little as possible – to continue to hide the existence of the software from U.S. regulators, U.S. customers and the U.S. public.
      Following the ICCT study, CARB, in coordination with the EPA, attempted to work with VW to determine the cause for the higher NOx emissions in VW diesel vehicles when being driven on the road as opposed to on the dynamometer undergoing standard emissions test cycles. To do this, CARB, in coordination with the EPA, repeatedly asked VW questions that became increasingly more specific and detailed, and tested the vehicles themselves. In implementing their strategy of disclosing as little as possible, Neusser, Gottweis, Schmidt, Peter and their co-conspirators provided EPA and CARB with testing results, data, presentations and statements in an attempt to make it appear that there were innocent mechanical and technological problems to blame, while secretly knowing that the primary reason for the discrepancy was their cheating software that was installed in every VW diesel vehicle sold in the United States. The co-conspirators continued this back-and-forth with the EPA and CARB for over 18 months, obstructing the regulators’ attempts to uncover the truth.
      The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
      The case was investigated by the FBI and EPA-CID. The prosecution and corporate investigation are being handled by Securities and Financial Fraud Unit Chief Benjamin D. Singer and Trial Attorneys David Fuhr, Alison Anderson, Christopher Fenton and Gary Winters of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section; Trial Attorney Jennifer Blackwell of the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section; and from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, Criminal Division Chief Mark Chutkow and White Collar Crime Unit Chief John K. Neal and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Wyse. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also assisted in the case. The Justice Department also extends its thanks to the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Braunschweig, Germany.
      The Civil Resolutions:
      The first civil settlement resolves EPA’s remaining claims against six VW-related entities (including Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Porsche AG) currently pending in the multidistrict litigation before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California. EPA’s complaint alleges that VW violated the Clean Air Act by selling approximately 590,000 cars that the United States alleges are equipped with defeat devices and, during normal operation and use, emit pollution significantly in excess of EPA-compliant levels. VW has agreed to pay $1.45 billion to resolve EPA’s civil penalty claims, as well as the civil penalty claim of CBP described below. The consent decree resolving the Clean Air Act claims also resolves EPA’s remaining claim in the complaint for injunctive relief to prevent future violations by requiring VW to undertake a number of corporate governance reforms and perform in-use testing of its vehicles using a portable emissions measurement system of the same type used to catch VW’s cheating in the first place. Today’s settlement is in addition the historic $14.7 billion settlement that addressed the 2.0 liter cars on the road and associated environmental harm announced in June 2016, and $1 billion settlement that addressed the 3.0 liter cars on the road and associated environmental harm announced in December 2016, which together included nearly $3 billion for environmental mitigation projects.
      A second civil settlement resolves civil fraud claims asserted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) against VW entities. VW entities violated criminal and civil customs laws by knowingly submitting to CBP material false statements and omitting material information, over multiple years, with the intent of deceiving or misleading CBP concerning the admissibility of vehicles into the United States. CBP enforces U.S. customs laws as well as numerous laws on behalf of other governmental agencies related to health, safety, and border security. At the time of importation, VW falsely represented to CBP that each of the nearly 590,000 imported vehicles complied with all applicable environmental laws, knowing those representations to be untrue. CBP’s relationship with the importing community is one based on trust, and this resolution demonstrates that CBP will not tolerate abrogation of importer responsibilities and schemes to defraud the revenue of the United States. The $1.45 billion paid under the EPA settlement also resolves CBP’s claims.
      In a third settlement, VW has agreed to pay $50 million in civil penalties for alleged violations of FIRREA. The Justice Department alleged that a VW entity supported the sales and leasing of certain VW vehicles, including the defeat-device vehicles, by offering competitive financing terms by purchasing from dealers certain automobile retail installment contracts (i.e. loans) and leases entered into by customers that purchased or leased certain VW vehicles, as well as dealer floorplan loans. These financing arrangements were primarily collateralized by the vehicles underlying the loan and lease transactions. The department alleged that certain of these loans, leases and floorplan financings were pooled together to create asset-backed securities and that federally insured financial institutions purchased certain notes in these securities. Today’s FIRREA resolution is part of the department’s ongoing efforts to deter wrongdoers from using the financial markets to facilitate their fraud and to ensure the stability of the nation’s financial system.
      Except where based on admissions by VW, the claims resolved by the civil agreements are allegations only.
      The civil settlements were handled by the Environmental and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Enforcement Section, with assistance from the EPA; the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch; and CBP.

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