United States

Did Dieter Zetsche throw stones out of the glass house?

After the diesel scandal at Volkswagen became known in September 2015, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche repeatedly asserted that Mercedes did not have any fraudulent software installed. The Ministry of Transport takes a different view.

Zetsche is said to have mocked VW in a small circle, "although you didn't know whether he was making fun of VW that got caught or whether he was actually morally outraged and convinced that he had done a clean job in his own house," reports an engineer from Mercedes car development. Others always want to have "heard a touch of malicious glee" in conversations with Zetsche.


VW and Oliver Schmidt want to reach an agreement out of court

The quality date scheduled for February 19 at the Braunschweig Labor Court has been canceled at short notice. As the labor court announced, the parties have agreed to "carry out extrajudicial discussions on the possibilities of an agreement". Schmidt has sued VW for termination without notice.

The lawsuit against dismissal by Oliver Schmidt, who is in custody in the USA because of the diesel fraud, has not yet been successful, "but everything boils down to an agreement," as an expert on the process reports.



Detroit: Diesel gate seems forgotten, Mercedes-Benz is number 1, BMW remains pale

Who would have thought that after the Diesel Gate and 23 billion fine, the Volkswagen brand would be so successful on the US market? Mercedes-Benz signals in Detroit that it is No. 1 among the premium brands. BMW also calls itself number 1, but remains pale. Ex-BMW board members criticize the lack of a brand profile and colorless press work.

VW brand boss Diess bristled with self-confidence. The fact that the Wolfsburg-based brand was able to grow by 2017 percent in the US market, which had subsided by almost two percent in 5,2, actually proves that the Americans either forgave or forgot the diesel fraud. The two new launches for the US market (Jetta and Passat GT) are just right. Volkswagen is back. Incidentally, Volkswagen also grew worldwide in 2017: um


VW manager Oliver Schmidt will be released on parole in a year or two

The seven-year sentence against ex-Volkswagen manager Oliver Schmidt seems tough. It is also. However, he will not have to serve this sentence in full, but will be released on parole early. And then be deported.

As is well known, the US judiciary makes tough judgments. A triple pizza thief has to go to prison for a few years, at least according to the verdict. Crowded prisons, which are often run by private companies, are bursting at the seams in all states. The US judiciary, therefore, tends to suspended pending sentences after a certain period of time. This will also be the case with Oliver Schmidt, who is likely to be released on probation in 2019 or earlier. After all, he is not a violent criminal from whom the public must be protected.


Guest contribution by Harald Kaiser: The drug vanity

How the sweet poison fogged the senses and made politicians and managers believe they were the greatest.

With a little imagination you can see them, the imaginary little wing mirrors on his shoulders. On that of the new US President Donald Trump. Because the apparently boundless vain looks into them almost constantly and wonders when he takes a look: Is the hair dryer mat made of presumably yellowish-orange colored cotton wool and hairspray holder? Do I look sharp? The supposed almighty from New York with his current main residence in Washington has only focused on himself. It's about: I, I, I!


40 months imprisonment for VW manager James Robert Liang

Now the first Detroit VW manager has been sentenced to 40 months in prison and a $ 200.000 fine. James Lang must begin detention within four to six weeks once the prison authorities find a place for him.

District judge Sean Cox went beyond the prosecution's proposed sentence, which had been filed for three years and only $ 20.000. After the release from prison, Liang has to undergo surveillance for two years before being deported to Germany. The court said that Liang was very cooperative and supported the investigation against other VW managers.


Oliver Schmidt pleads guilty and is expelled after his sentence

VW manager Oliver Schmidt, who was arrested in January, has made an extensive confession and can expect a mild sentence to be announced on December 6. He remains in custody until the verdict, is then deported (he may not leave the country himself!) And may never enter the USA again.

The pressure in American custody has already motivated some actually innocent people to make adventurous confessions and to accuse third parties. You have to take that into account. However, this does not mean that Oliver Schmidt must have admitted anything other than the truth. But American lawyers repeatedly complain that pre-trial detention is coercive detention, "a kind of torture". Simply presenting the delinquents in public in their orange outfits shows that US law began in the Wild West. "False confessions for lighter sentences fill a lot of court records," a Los Angeles criminal lawyer told me. There are even death sentences where a false confession has led to Death Row and beyond ...


Arrested VW manager will remain in custody until the 2018 trial

Oliver Schmidt should not regret anything more than the fact that he traveled to the USA against the advice of well-known lawyers to spend his Christmas vacation there.

We spoke to a US lawyer who made a name for himself with conspiracy charges. His predictions about the VW manager's arrest are not very encouraging. “Anyone accused of conspiracy by the state in the United States like Schmidt is hit by the harshness of the law. The fact that Schmidt was not even released on bail of $ 1,6 million offered leads to the conclusion that he will remain in custody pending the trial. ”Especially with foreigners who face a high prison sentence, the judicial authorities are immediately at hand with the catchphrase "danger of escape". “Some drug dealers are released for $ 5.000, may have to report to the police regularly, or an ankle bracelet is put on. That the VW manager remains in custody despite the high security deposit offered does not suggest anything good. ”The process is expected to start in a year at the earliest.


VW compliance chief Hohmann-Dennhardt quarrels after a year

Is that a positive signal to the US judicial authorities if the renowned guardian of virtue on the Volkswagen board of management surprisingly leaves "by mutual agreement"? Does the investigation end in the fog of alternative facts?

VW had only wooed the former constitutional judge from Daimler in the fall of the year before last, where, together with the former FBI chief Louis Freeh, she had worked through various corruption affairs, introduced and monitored strict compliance rules. Hohmann-Dennhardt's successor on the VW Group Executive Board is Hiltrud Werner, Head of Group Audit.


Does Donald Trump not know about the factories of German car manufacturers in the USA?

The image interview with Donald Trump ignores important facts despite a sensational presentation and great media response.

The fact that Bild-Editor Kai Diekmann succeeded in being admitted to the office of the future US President in New York's Trump Tower for an interview is undoubtedly a remarkable achievement. The interview is correspondingly well received in all media - brilliant PR for Bild-Zeitung. And its soon-to-be outgoing editor.


"Volkswagen is on the brink" - payment of fines does not yet bring legal peace

Can it get worse? "But yes," says a manager familiar with the topic from the Volkswagen Group. "It is now suspected that the agreement on a fine of $ 4,3 billion is far from the end and Volkswagen will not be able to buy legal peace with money."

The judiciary and the media are constantly generating "braking news" on the Volkswagen diesel scandal in a transatlantic relationship between the USA and Europe. The fact that VW manager Oliver Schmidt, arrested in Florida, was not released on bail (we're talking about a million dollars that Schmidt's lawyers are said to have offered), led in Wolfsburg more than his arrest to downright shock. The company headquarters said that he was expected to be fired last Thursday.



The VW group is advancing: soot filters will soon also be available for petrol engines

Soot particles - as a layperson, the first thing that comes to mind is the diesel engine, which has come under fire in many ways. But every engine builder has had the topic in mind for a long time: Directly injecting petrol engines have a problem that is rarely discussed. The diesel issue and the particulate matter discussion in the cities have overlaid everything.

Now the Volkswagen group is pushing ahead with the decision to equip gasoline engines with soot filters from 2017. The so-called OPF is gradually being installed in all of the Group's direct-injection TSI and TFSI engines, not just in Volkswagen vehicles. The filter reduces the emission of fine soot particles by up to 90 percent.


Now the whole auto industry is in the pillory

 

The diesel scandal continues to spread. Who would have thought that a small software package could change the car world so massively, no: mix it up so that hardly a stone was left unturned. There is still no end in sight to the excitement surrounding beautiful emissions. Now, in addition to VW, other manufacturers have to declare themselves to the American authorities. That doesn't bode well. Only BMW seems flawless.


Volkswagen in the maelstrom of lawsuits: top management has long been absorbed by process avalanches

 

Now 278 large investors in Germany are also claiming 3,3 billion damages from Volkswagen for the massive price losses caused by the fraud with the diesel software and late information on the financial markets. Volkswagen had already stated that the company had complied with its information requirements in accordance with the legal requirements.

The largest US pension fund CALPERS and the Sparkassen fund subsidiary DEKA are among the plaintiff's major investors. There are a total of 67 lawsuits in Germany, which collectively claim 3,7 billion euros in damages. The Tübingen lawyer Andreas Tilp told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that this lawsuit was only the beginning and that more would follow.