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VW News: As the Diesel Emits: Volkswagen Agrees To Pay $4.3 Billion To Settle Criminal Case, Six Employees Indicted


William Maley

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. Jens Hadler: from May 2007 until March 2011, Hadler worked for VW as head of Engine Development for VW.
  3. 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.
  4. Bernd Gottweis: from 2007 until October 2014, Gottweis worked for VW as a supervisor with responsibility for Quality Management and Product Safety.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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Ouch, the start of draining their bank account. Wonder how the US will spend this money? Social overkill waste or actually paying some debt?

No matter what, VW will be hurting for a long time.

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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen's electric car offensive has already started in Europe with the ID.3. The next step is taking on the U.S. with the next electric vehicle, the ID.4 introduced today.
      The ID.4 looks very close to the concept that was first shown back in 2017 with such details as the VW logo smack dab in the middle with a light bar running across; wide air dam for the front,  flowing lines, and a full-length lightbar at the rear. In terms of size, the ID.4 is about 4.6 inches shorter, 1.9 inches lower, and 0.5 inches wider than the Tiguan sold in the U.S. No word on weight.
      For the interior, Volkswagen went minimalist. The driver faces 5.3-inch digital display and is able to change gear via a knob on the right side of bezel - similar to the BMW i3. Either a 10 or 12-inch touchscreen display handles the infotainment duties. Interior space is quite generous with 99.9 cubic feet of passenger space and 30.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
      At launch, the ID.4 will only be available with a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle providing 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. An 82-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack provides the juice. Range is estimated at 250 miles. A dual-motor version with 302 horsepower and all-wheel drive will come out sometime next year.
      For charging, Volkswagen says that on a Level Two charger, the ID.4 takes around 7.5 hours from an empty battery. If you can find a DC fast charger, the recharge time drops significantly: Volkswagen claims that the battery can reach an 80% charge in 38 minutes.
      Pricing for the ID.4 will begin at $39,995 for the base Pro when it arrives at dealers at the end of the year. No mention on destination. But Volkswagen is planning to drop the price of the ID.4 once production begins at the Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee.
       
      Source: Volkswagen
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Volkswagen unveils the all-new 2021 ID.4 electric SUV
      Sep 23, 2020
      Reservations for the ID.4 start online today with 50-state launch in early 2021 MSRP starts at $39,995 for ID.4 Pro before potential $7,500 Federal tax credit Estimated 250 miles of range on ID.4 1st Edition Compact SUV will be available in rear-wheel drive 201-hp 82 kWh (launching first) and all-wheel-drive 302-hp 82 kWh configurations Three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost Modern design pairs with high-tech features, like DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology and a smart infotainment system, using voice and touch Localized production in Chattanooga, starting in 2022 with anticipated MSRP around $35,000 Herndon, VA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. revealed the all-new ID.4 electric SUV today—the brand’s first long-range EV to be sold stateside. This compact SUV will offer all the best features of Volkswagen’s current lineup—hallmark driving dynamics, bold design, and advanced technology—along with long-range EV capability and three years of fast charging with Electrify America for no additional cost, to customers in the largest segment in the U.S., all with a price point aimed at the heart of the segment.
      “The ID.4 was engineered, loaded and priced to win the hearts of SUV owners who are simply ready to go electric—and fall in love with Volkswagen again,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “It drives like a GTI, it has the packaging of a Tiguan and the purpose of the Beetle. All the best things about VW in one package.”
      Powertrain & Charging
      The ID.4 electric compact SUV is based on the modular electric drive architecture (MEB). While it is the brand’s newest platform, it also represents a return to Volkswagen’s roots, with the electric motor located at the rear, just like the original Beetle.
      The heart of the ID.4 is a battery pack comprised of 288 pouch cells in 12 modules, positioned in the underbody to create a low center of gravity for optimal driving dynamics as well as extremely well-balanced weight distribution. It is housed in a lightweight aluminum structure that is bolted to the frame, helping to improve rigidity.
      At launch, the vehicle will be offered with an 82kWh (gross) battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen estimates that the ID.4 82kWh RWD 1st Edition models will have a range of 250 miles with a full charge on the EPA cycle. A powerful, electric all-wheel-drive variant with 302 hp will follow later in 2021.
      The ID.4 also comes with three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost, helping to reduce range anxiety. The ID.4 can be charged with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) fast-charging capability. The 11 kW onboard charger allows the ID.4 to charge the battery 33 miles in about one hour, and charges to full in around seven and a half hours at a home or public Level 2 charger. At a DC fast-charging station, with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes.
      Chassis
      The ID.4 is designed to be strong, yet agile. The chassis and body are made from steel. The front suspension is a strut-type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar. In the rear, the ID.4 uses a multi-link rear axle with coil springs, telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. With 3.5 turns lock-to-lock and a stellar curb-to-curb turning radius of 33.5 feet, the ID.4 feels nimble, especially among other compact SUVs.
      A combination of brake types is used on ID.4. It features disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear—the difference being specific to electric vehicle needs. As EVs rely on regenerative braking, disc brakes on the rear can be less effective than drums after long periods of not being put to heavy use.
      Exterior
      Like the platform, the design of ID.4 represents a move towards the future with a nod to the past. At the front, the Volkswagen logo is able to be positioned centrally because there is no radiator grille, as it was on the Beetle. Large LED headlights flow backwards, hinting at the aerodynamic nature of the car, while a sculpted front bumper with large intake-like scoops and honeycomb accents give the car a powerful presence. Models fitted with the Statement package add an illuminated Volkswagen logo and an illuminated light line that stretches outward from it, creating a striking light signature.
      Front to back, clean, flowing lines alternate with crisp edges for a refined, yet futuristic look. A softly molded side section curves under the crisp rising shoulder line and flush illuminated door handles. The low greenhouse runs out into a strong C-pillar—a classic Volkswagen design feature—and into a long spoiler. The ID.4’s aerodynamically refined exterior helps it achieve an excellent drag coefficient of 0.28.
      The ID.4 sits squarely in the middle of the compact SUV segment, size-wise. It is 4.6 inches shorter than the Volkswagen Tiguan, at 180.5 inches, with a 0.9 inch shorter wheelbase at 108.9 inches. It is 1.9 inches lower than Tiguan at 64.4 inches high for the rear-wheel drive model, and 0.5 inches wider, at 72.9 inches.
      The ID.4 will available in six exterior colors—Glacier White Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Moonstone Grey, Scale Silver Metallic, Blue Dusk Metallic and King’s Red Metallic. All models come with a body color roof, black roof rails, and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The Statement package adds a panoramic fixed-glass roof, premium LED projector headlights with Volkswagen’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) and power-folding side mirrors with puddle lamp signature, while the Gradient package (sold on top of the Statement package) upgrades to 20-inch wheels, black roof, and silver roof rails and accents.
      Interior
      Volkswagen’s first fully-electric SUV features ample space and a modern design. Passenger volume is similar to the Tiguan despite the overall smaller footprint, with 99.9 cubic feet total. Legroom is a comfortable 41.1 inches for front passengers and 37.6 inches in the rear seat. Cargo volume is 30.3 cubic feet behind the second row, and 64.2 cubic feet with the seats folded.
      The interior of the ID.4 mirrors the futuristic look of the exterior, with functionality almost completely controlled by touch or voice control. The 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit (digital driver display) replaces the traditional instrument cluster and is operated with touch-sensitive controls on the leather-wrapped multifunction heated steering wheel. Three tiles show the most important information, with the display for battery status and range underneath. The traditional gearshift is replaced by a large rocker switch on the right of the ID.Cockpit, and a control panel to the left of the steering wheel integrates the lighting functions, including automatic headlights.
      A 10-inch Discover Pro touch infotainment display is located in the middle of the dash panel, angled slightly towards the driver. This screen can be configured to driver preference, and manages the standard navigation system, all telematics, entertainment, driver-assistance systems and vehicle settings; it is upgraded to a 12-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment display with the Statement package. Menus can be moved using gesture control, simply swiping one’s hand in front of the screen. Sliders for volume and temperature adjustment are located on the inclined surface below the display.
      “Hello ID.” natural voice control is standard in the ID.4. The car follows the instructions spoken by the driver and passengers and is capable of understanding many commands from everyday language, such as “Hello ID., I’m cold” to turn up the heat.
      The ID.4 will feature ID. Light—a light strip below the windshield to support drivers in a host of situations with intuitive lighting effects in different colors and sound prompts. For example, ID. Light signals to the driver that the vehicle’s drive system is active and that the car has been unlocked or locked. It accentuates information issued by some of the driver-assistance and navigation systems and signals, both visually and acoustically, details like charge status indicator, braking prompts and incoming phone calls.
      The steering wheel, steering column, and the housings for the display and control panels in the doors are finished in Piano Black. Seats in the ID.4 are finished in black cloth on entry models and Lunar Gray or Galaxy Black leatherette on models with the Statement package. Entry ID.4 models feature six-way adjustable seats with power recline, while the Statement package adds 12-way power seats, with massage lumbar and memory, as well as 30-color ambient lighting.
      ID.4 offers a range of comfort and convenience features found throughout the rest of the brand’s lineup. Standard features include rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone Climatronic® climate control, and KESSY® keyless access. To manage cold temperatures, the ID.4 features a standard heated steering wheel, heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, and, on all-wheel-drive models, a heated windshield. The Statement package adds SiriusXM® satellite radio with a three-month trial, an adjustable trunk floor, and a power tailgate with Easy Open & Close.
      To complete the high-tech package, ID.4 offers standard wireless mobile charging, wireless App-Connect, and Volkswagen Car-Net® with in-car WiFi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more—all at 4G LTE-enabled speed.
      Safety & Driver Assistance Technology
      To help protect occupants, the ID.4 provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard—front and side airbags for front passengers, and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions. Additionally there are a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
      With regards to the battery, an extruded aluminum frame protects the battery system against damage in the event of a crash, and a replaceable aluminum underbody panel protects the battery against the road. Additionally, the battery is also disabled if the vehicle is involved in a serious accident.
      With the standard IQ.DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology, all ID.4 models include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist); Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist); Travel Assist; and Emergency Assist. In addition to IQ.DRIVE features, the ID.4 includes Dynamic Road Sign Display; Park Distance Control; and High Beam Control (Light Assist).
      Pricing & Sales
      Pricing for the ID.4 starts at $39,995, for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro (available in the first quarter of 2021), before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500 is applied. With those credits, the entry price of ID.4 is on par with the 2021 Tiguan SEL.  For highly qualified customers through Volkswagen Credit, the monthly lease payment for a 36-month lease with 10,000 miles a year, is $379 per month with $3,579 due at signing, excluding tax, title, license, options and dealer fees.
      Starting later in 2021, the ID.4 AWD Pro ($43,695) will be available. Both Pro models carry largely the same equipment, with AWD models putting out 302 hp, and adding a heated windshield and tow hitch. These models can be additionally outfitted with two packages—Statement ($4,500), and Gradient ($1,500), which is only offered with Statement.
      The ID.4 launches with a limited-run ID.4 1st Edition (MSRP $43,995). The 1st Edition models feature the same content as the Pro model, and Statement package (minus illuminated VW logo) and Gradient package come standard. These models also include unique features including accelerator and brake pedals with “play” and “pause” logos, the steering wheel and column, radio bezel and door island finished in Electric White, 1st Edition badging, black mirror caps, and a tow hitch.
      Volkswagen plans to offer the ID.4 electric vehicle across all 50 states, and throughout its network of more than 600 dealers. A reservation platform debuts today on VW.com, allowing customers to reserve an ID.4 before it hits dealer showrooms, with a fully refundable $100 reservation fee. As vehicle production starts, reservation holders will be invited to confirm their order with an additional fully refundable $400 vehicle deposit. From placing a reservation, to production and through delivery, the customer can see where they stand and when they can expect their ID. 4 to arrive at their preferred local VW dealer in a simple, transparent process. At that time, the customer can transact with their dealer and complete their purchase.
    • By David
      According to Electrek web site, VW will open up their reservation system in September. Online reservations for the ID.4 EV will only require a $100 deposit. VW production of the ID.4 for European and Chinese markets has started and is on size to compete with the Tesla Y small CUV. The auto is expected to have about 250 miles of range in base form and start at $40,000. 300 miles plus for the top trim version. Production for the North American Market will start in early 2022 at Chattanooga Factory upon the construction completion of the assembly line and battery production plant. The auto has a .28 drag coefficient.
      ID.4 Concept

      https://electrek.co/2020/08/27/vw-id4-electric-suv-orders-september-deposit/
      Thanks to a Chinese web site not being secure, actual production models have been caught before the official introduction. A muscular clean CUV EV is seen here and close to the Concept.




      https://electrek.co/2020/06/17/leaked-photos-of-vw-id-4-electric-crossover-reveal-clean-design/
    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen unveiled an updated 2021 Arteon tonight. Now you might be thinking this is a quick turn around as the Arteon has been on sale in the U.S. for only a year. But you need to keep in mind that Volkswagen has been selling the Arteon in Europe since 2018, so a refresh was in the cards.
      Changes for the exterior are subtile with a more prominent grille, new lighting, updated Volkswagen badging, and new choices for paint and wheels. The interior is a bit more dramatic with updated dash featuring revised air vents and climate control system with touch controls. A new steering wheel with touch controls, improved materials, and the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit becoming standard on all Arteons finishes off the changes.
      Power for the U.S. will remain the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic that routes power to either the front or Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
      There are some versions we'll be missing out on such as a new Shooting Brake (aka wagon), a 315 horsepower R model, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
      No word on pricing, but you'll be able to pick up a 2021 Arteon at your Volkswagen dealer sometime in November.
      Source: Volkswagen
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2021 Volkswagen Arteon world premiere

      Jun 23, 2020
      Brand halo is updated inside and out—a new front end impresses with sharpened design elements and available illuminated grille, while inside, a new cockpit offers greater levels of refinement Digital Cockpit standard across lineup European offering includes new Arteon Shooting Brake, as well as plug-in hybrid (160 kW / 218 PS) and Volkswagen R-developed performance (235 kW / 320 PS) powertrains Herndon, VA — The Arteon is Volkswagen’s Gran Turismo—marrying the sleek design of a premium coupe to the space of a midsize sedan. For 2021, Volkswagen is introducing an extensive product line update to the brand halo, including sharpened design elements, interior refinements, and intelligent comfort systems. In Europe, Volkswagen is enhancing the product line with a second version—the new Arteon Shooting Brake—alongside new powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid drivetrain generating 160 kW (218 PS) and Arteon R versions with 235 kW (320 PS).
      For 2021, the U.S. market Volkswagen Arteon features a simplified trim lineup—SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line.
      Exterior
      The refreshed Arteon features a refined front end with sharpened design elements. The long, wide hood stretches across the entire front profile to the wheelarches to form the shoulder section. At the front it reaches far down into the grille, emphasizing the ample width of the Arteon with its crossbars. It’s not just avant-garde, it’s also aerodynamic—with a drag coefficient of a mere 0.265.
      For the first time, the Arteon can also be configured with an illuminated grille. On midrange models, new LED daytime running lights (DRLs) connect to form a central light bar in the grille, surrounding the new Volkswagen logo and using light as the new chrome. Consequently, the Arteon has been given a new and unmistakable daytime and night-time lighting signature.
      The lower section of the front profile, the front apron, has also been modified. Up to now, this area featured four chrome bars. These have now been transformed into three significantly more striking chrome bars. The outer and bottom segments of the front apron are always the same color as the vehicle’s paintwork (except the lateral air intake grilles). How the equipment scopes differ: the SE trim now has two additional, separate air intake openings in front of the front wheels, as well as a chrome bar that has been integrated above the front spoiler. In contrast, the R-Line features one larger, continuous, bottom air intake above the front spoiler that is surrounded by a C-shaped section on the outside in front of the front wheels, which has been painted in the main vehicle color.
      As drawn, the character line runs around the entire car. It visually presses the body’s volume downward to the ground, giving it a dynamic appearance. The character line starts in the radiator grille at the front and runs smoothly across the silhouette up to the tail light clusters. At the rear it transforms into a sharp undercut that visually reduces the Arteon’s height and carries the strong shoulder section towards the rear. At the rear, the VW badge and Arteon lettering have been redesigned.
      Three new colors are added for model year 2021—Oryx White, Kings Red Metallic, and Lapiz Blue.
      Interior
      On the inside, Arteon has been equipped with a redesigned cockpit that has been refined to match the model’s exclusive nature. Volkswagen’s interior designers have redesigned the entire dash panel—consisting of surfaces, air outlets, and trims—the center console, including infotainment section and air-conditioning control, and the top sections of the door trims. The fabrics and leather in the vehicle interior have also been upgraded.
      At the dash panel’s top-most level, new leatherette surfaces stand out by having been refined are more pronounced with decorative seams to visually build a bridge to Volkswagen’s luxury-class SUV, the Touareg. On the second level, new aluminum décor graces base models, while midrange models offer translucent aluminum décor with 30-color ambient lighting The air outlets, stretching up to the third dash panel level, have been redesigned and also fully integrated here.
      A new generation of multifunction steering wheels featuring digital touch surfaces are used in the Arteon. In combination with the Travel Assist system (see below), the steering wheel rim additionally features touch-sensitive surfaces which, once Travel Assist has been activated, detect whether the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel for safety reasons.
      The temperature can now be set intuitively via a touchslider for the optional three-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control. The same applies to the blower function in the manual mode. Seat heating, windscreen and window defrosting functions as well as other air conditioner regulations are also controlled using new touch-sensitive surfaces in the center console.
      The Arteon is equipped with the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, which allows the driver to configure the instrument display. The graphics of the 10.25-inch display are clear and of a high quality. The driver can quickly and easily switch between three basic layouts using a View button on the multifunction steering wheel.
      Arteon adopts the all-new MIB3 infotainment system, integrated in a clearly visible and easy-to-reach position above the new air-conditioning controls. All models come standard with the 8.0-inch Discover Media system with navigation. MIB3 offers natural voice control, multi-phone pairing that can easily switch between devices, and wireless App-Connect. Wireless charging is also new for 2021.
      Volkswagen is also offering a newly developed, high-end sound system made by audio specialists harman/kardon for the very first time. It has been specifically geared towards the Arteon product line. The system uses a 700-watt, 16-channel Ethernet amplifier to power a total of twelve high-performance loudspeakers. One loudspeaker acts as the center speaker in the newly designed dash panel while another operates as a subwoofer in the trunk. The remaining treble, mid-range, and bass loudspeakers have been arranged in the doors. The infotainment system coordinates the individual sound control of the harman/kardon sound system which also provides pre-configured settings, such as Pure, Chill out, Live and Energy.
      Powertrain
      The Arteon is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The power is taken to the front wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® shifting; 4Motion all-wheel drive is available on SEL R-Line models and standard on SEL Premium R-Line models.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen unveiled an updated 2021 Arteon tonight. Now you might be thinking this is a quick turn around as the Arteon has been on sale in the U.S. for only a year. But you need to keep in mind that Volkswagen has been selling the Arteon in Europe since 2018, so a refresh was in the cards.
      Changes for the exterior are subtile with a more prominent grille, new lighting, updated Volkswagen badging, and new choices for paint and wheels. The interior is a bit more dramatic with updated dash featuring revised air vents and climate control system with touch controls. A new steering wheel with touch controls, improved materials, and the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit becoming standard on all Arteons finishes off the changes.
      Power for the U.S. will remain the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic that routes power to either the front or Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
      There are some versions we'll be missing out on such as a new Shooting Brake (aka wagon), a 315 horsepower R model, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
      No word on pricing, but you'll be able to pick up a 2021 Arteon at your Volkswagen dealer sometime in November.
      Source: Volkswagen
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2021 Volkswagen Arteon world premiere

      Jun 23, 2020
      Brand halo is updated inside and out—a new front end impresses with sharpened design elements and available illuminated grille, while inside, a new cockpit offers greater levels of refinement Digital Cockpit standard across lineup European offering includes new Arteon Shooting Brake, as well as plug-in hybrid (160 kW / 218 PS) and Volkswagen R-developed performance (235 kW / 320 PS) powertrains Herndon, VA — The Arteon is Volkswagen’s Gran Turismo—marrying the sleek design of a premium coupe to the space of a midsize sedan. For 2021, Volkswagen is introducing an extensive product line update to the brand halo, including sharpened design elements, interior refinements, and intelligent comfort systems. In Europe, Volkswagen is enhancing the product line with a second version—the new Arteon Shooting Brake—alongside new powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid drivetrain generating 160 kW (218 PS) and Arteon R versions with 235 kW (320 PS).
      For 2021, the U.S. market Volkswagen Arteon features a simplified trim lineup—SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line.
      Exterior
      The refreshed Arteon features a refined front end with sharpened design elements. The long, wide hood stretches across the entire front profile to the wheelarches to form the shoulder section. At the front it reaches far down into the grille, emphasizing the ample width of the Arteon with its crossbars. It’s not just avant-garde, it’s also aerodynamic—with a drag coefficient of a mere 0.265.
      For the first time, the Arteon can also be configured with an illuminated grille. On midrange models, new LED daytime running lights (DRLs) connect to form a central light bar in the grille, surrounding the new Volkswagen logo and using light as the new chrome. Consequently, the Arteon has been given a new and unmistakable daytime and night-time lighting signature.
      The lower section of the front profile, the front apron, has also been modified. Up to now, this area featured four chrome bars. These have now been transformed into three significantly more striking chrome bars. The outer and bottom segments of the front apron are always the same color as the vehicle’s paintwork (except the lateral air intake grilles). How the equipment scopes differ: the SE trim now has two additional, separate air intake openings in front of the front wheels, as well as a chrome bar that has been integrated above the front spoiler. In contrast, the R-Line features one larger, continuous, bottom air intake above the front spoiler that is surrounded by a C-shaped section on the outside in front of the front wheels, which has been painted in the main vehicle color.
      As drawn, the character line runs around the entire car. It visually presses the body’s volume downward to the ground, giving it a dynamic appearance. The character line starts in the radiator grille at the front and runs smoothly across the silhouette up to the tail light clusters. At the rear it transforms into a sharp undercut that visually reduces the Arteon’s height and carries the strong shoulder section towards the rear. At the rear, the VW badge and Arteon lettering have been redesigned.
      Three new colors are added for model year 2021—Oryx White, Kings Red Metallic, and Lapiz Blue.
      Interior
      On the inside, Arteon has been equipped with a redesigned cockpit that has been refined to match the model’s exclusive nature. Volkswagen’s interior designers have redesigned the entire dash panel—consisting of surfaces, air outlets, and trims—the center console, including infotainment section and air-conditioning control, and the top sections of the door trims. The fabrics and leather in the vehicle interior have also been upgraded.
      At the dash panel’s top-most level, new leatherette surfaces stand out by having been refined are more pronounced with decorative seams to visually build a bridge to Volkswagen’s luxury-class SUV, the Touareg. On the second level, new aluminum décor graces base models, while midrange models offer translucent aluminum décor with 30-color ambient lighting The air outlets, stretching up to the third dash panel level, have been redesigned and also fully integrated here.
      A new generation of multifunction steering wheels featuring digital touch surfaces are used in the Arteon. In combination with the Travel Assist system (see below), the steering wheel rim additionally features touch-sensitive surfaces which, once Travel Assist has been activated, detect whether the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel for safety reasons.
      The temperature can now be set intuitively via a touchslider for the optional three-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control. The same applies to the blower function in the manual mode. Seat heating, windscreen and window defrosting functions as well as other air conditioner regulations are also controlled using new touch-sensitive surfaces in the center console.
      The Arteon is equipped with the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, which allows the driver to configure the instrument display. The graphics of the 10.25-inch display are clear and of a high quality. The driver can quickly and easily switch between three basic layouts using a View button on the multifunction steering wheel.
      Arteon adopts the all-new MIB3 infotainment system, integrated in a clearly visible and easy-to-reach position above the new air-conditioning controls. All models come standard with the 8.0-inch Discover Media system with navigation. MIB3 offers natural voice control, multi-phone pairing that can easily switch between devices, and wireless App-Connect. Wireless charging is also new for 2021.
      Volkswagen is also offering a newly developed, high-end sound system made by audio specialists harman/kardon for the very first time. It has been specifically geared towards the Arteon product line. The system uses a 700-watt, 16-channel Ethernet amplifier to power a total of twelve high-performance loudspeakers. One loudspeaker acts as the center speaker in the newly designed dash panel while another operates as a subwoofer in the trunk. The remaining treble, mid-range, and bass loudspeakers have been arranged in the doors. The infotainment system coordinates the individual sound control of the harman/kardon sound system which also provides pre-configured settings, such as Pure, Chill out, Live and Energy.
      Powertrain
      The Arteon is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The power is taken to the front wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® shifting; 4Motion all-wheel drive is available on SEL R-Line models and standard on SEL Premium R-Line models.
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