Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 27th 2015 Contents SEPTEMBER 27 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN
INTERNATIONAL | SBG15
aware in 2010 that lab testing
was not as accurate as on-road
tests might be.
In the case of carbon dioxide
emissions tests---not nitrogen
oxide---the discrepancy was as
much as 20 per cent.
The EU will introduce new
tests from next year, with on-
road testing complementing the
laboratory work that is currently
being done. Lab tests will also be
refined to try to reduce the margin
It s not the first time the EPA
has had to change testing to make
sure automakers are playing by
Earlier this year the agency
updated gas mileage tests after
some automakers were caught
with inflated window sticker esti-
Grundler disputes the notion
that EPA would never have caught
VW without the outside help.
European regulators were looking
into VW s on-road diesel emis-
sions as far back as 2012, and
since diesels make up half the
cars there, the EPA decided to let
Europe take the lead, he says.
"I don t think it s fair to say
that this would never have been
uncovered," he says.
"Do I wish we had uncovered
it sooner? Absolutely." (AP)
From Page 14
DETROIT---If you re driving a
diesel-powered four-cylinder Volk-
swagen, you re stuck with a fun-
to-drive machine that s belching
unhealthy pollutants from its
Until the company figures out
how to fix its bogus emissions con-
trols, there isn t much you can do
about your dirty diesel.
Following disclosures that Volk-
swagen developed software for its
2-litre diesel engine that could better
control pollutants during testing
than in real-world driving, there
there s a lot up in the air for owners
of Jettas, Golfs, Passats and Beetles
and Audi s A3.
Here are some things to consider
if you re thinking of suing, selling
or are unsure of what to do next.
VW s software turned on pollu-
tion controls for government tests,
which are done on a treadmill device
called a dynamometer.
When the software deduced that
the cars were back on the street,
the controls went off and the cars
polluted too much. About 500,000
of the cars were sold in the US.
VW hasn t said how it will fix the
problem. Owners worry the repairs
will cut fuel economy and perform-
ance---the reasons they bought the
"clean" diesels in the first place.
"I really hope they fix this thing,"
said Zandy Hartig, an actress in Los
Angeles who owns a diesel 2013 Jetta
"I assume since they did it on
purpose they can undo it."
The EPA has told VW to fix the
cars so they comply with pollution
regulations, but there s no word from
the company on how or when that
will be done. The EPA says it could
take a year.
A recall fix may be coming soon
for 2015 and 2016 models, neither
of which can be sold until repairs
are made. Mike Jackson, CEO of
AutoNation, the country s largest
auto dealership chain, said Wednes-
day that he was told by VW officials
that a software change will bring
the last two model years into com-
But it s a mystery how the com-
pany will fix models from 2009
through 2014, including whether
software and equipment changes
will be needed, he says.
Did my car lose value?
Worried about their cars losing
value, some owners might rush to
put the car up for sale.
Eric Ibara, senior analyst for Kelley
Blue Book, is encouraging owners
to hang on to their VWs, at least
until the company comes up with
Ibara says the impact on VW s
resale values may not be known for
two or three weeks.
The price that dealers agree to
pay for vehicles being auctioned this
week will be the first indication.
VW diesels traditionally have
higher resale values than gasoline
counterparts, but the scandal might
erode that premium, Ibara says,
especially if the fix cuts mileage or
impacts their sporty performance.
If repairs are made, history shows
there might not be a lasting impact.
General Motors residual values
weren t affected by ignition switch
recalls, and Toyota s car values
returned to normal within a year of
an unintended acceleration crisis.
Some owners are hoping for
rebates, while a consumer group
called on VW to buy back the
Joining a lawsuit against VW is
one option for owners, although it
likely will take years to get any relief.
At least five US lawsuits have been
filed, some alleging the cars values
will fall because of the scheme.
Consumers could have some suc-
cess in the courtroom. In 2012, for
example, Toyota agreed to pay more
than US$1 billion to resolve hundreds
of lawsuits filed by owners who said
their vehicles lost value after the
company s unintended acceleration
Also, politicians are calling on the
Federal Trade Commission to inves-
tigate because VW often advertised
the cleanliness of the vehicles. The
FTC, which monitors advertising
claims, can seek remedies for all of
the car owners.
Don Marron, 58, a banker from
Allentown, Pennsylvania, wants
Volkswagen to take back his 2012
SportWagen and apply the credit
toward a new car.
He d also consider a repair that
didn t compromise performance or
"I m going to wait and see what
they do, but I m not going to do
nothing," he said.
"It s just dumb that they did this.
How could they think that it wasn t
going to be discovered? What arro-
gance, what bad judgment." (AP)
Sell, sue or stay put:
Considerations for car
New on-road testing from next year
VW's software turned on
pollution controls for
government tests, which are
done on a treadmill device
called a dynamometer.
When the software deduced
that the cars were back on
the street, the controls went
off and the cars polluted too
much. About 500,000 of the
cars were sold in the US.
BERLIN---Volkswagen s board
appointed the head of its Porsche
unit as CEO on Friday, handing
longtime company insider
Matthias Mueller the task of try-
ing to lead the world s top-selling
automaker past a growing emis-
The company also said it was
suspending some employees and
would reorganise its North America
operations after admitting it used
a piece of engine software to cheat
on diesel car emissions tests in the
US. The decisions come after the
previous CEO, Martin Winterkorn,
quit the job this week over the
scandal, which has shredded the
company s reputation.
The company could be heavily
fined and hit with class-action
lawsuits costing billions. It will
also have to fix programming it
has said is in some 11 million cars
worldwide, far more than the
482,000 identified last week by
The 62-year-old Mueller, who
has spent his career with Volk-
swagen Group brands, acknowl-
edged that he was taking the job
"at a time in which our company
faces unprecedented challenges. I
have respect for this, but I am also
facing this task with confidence."
Speaking at Volkswagen s head-
quarters in Wolfsburg, Germany,
he said he would "do everything
to win back the trust of our cus-
tomers, our employees, our part-
ners, investors and the whole pub-
"We stand by our responsibility,"
he said. "Occasionally, our and
your patience will be tested,
but...carefulness is even more
important than speed."
Mueller said it is "decisive that
nothing like this ever happens at
Volkswagen again. So we will intro-
duce even tougher compliance and
governance standards in the com-
He pledged to make Volkswagen
"an even stronger company."
The main risk of VW s decision
to go with an insider is that some
in the markets could consider
Mueller "tainted" by association
with the crisis, said Jason Hanold,
managing partner of Evanston, Illi-
nois-based executive search firm
The upside, he said, is that
Mueller s knowledge of the com-
pany offers the chance of "faster
traction to help root out the prob-
lems within the organisation."
Acting supervisory board Chair-
man Berthold Huber lauded
Mueller s "great strategic, entre-
preneurial and social competence"
and "critical and constructive"
"He knows the group and its
brands well and can immediately
engage in his new task with full
energy," Huber said.
Winterkorn, who had been CEO
since 2007, said he took respon-
sibility for the "irregularities" found
by US inspectors in VW s diesel
engines, but insisted he had per-
sonally done nothing wrong.
Volkswagen offered few new
details Friday on the fallout from
"The supervisory board has, on
the basis of current information,
recommended suspending some
employees immediately until the
whole case is cleared up," Huber
said. "This has, in part, already
He did not elaborate, and a
statement from Volkswagen did
not specify who the employees
were, at what level or where they
The head of VW s employee
council, Bernd Osterloh, said that
Volkswagen "needs a new begin-
ning" with a "different company
Osterloh, who also sits on the
supervisory board, said: "We need
for the future a climate in which
problems are not hidden but com-
municated openly to superiors."
He praised Mueller as a "team
Mueller brings experience with
several of Volkswagen s 12 brands
sprawling automotive group with
nearly 600,000 employees world-
He was an apprentice toolmaker
at Audi between finishing high
school and studying computer sci-
ence at Munich s University of
Applied Sciences. Mueller returned
to Audi in 1978 and worked his
way up to become head of product
management for Audi, Seat and
In 2007, Mueller became head
of product management for the
Volkswagen Group. He has been
Porsche chief executive since 2010
and a member of parent Volkswa-
gen s management board since
Alongside Mueller s appoint-
ment, the supervisory board also
approved changes to the manage-
ment structure aimed at scaling
back complexity and strengthening
brands and regions.
That includes a reorganisation
of the North America business
under Winfried Vahland, until now
chairman of the board of directors
at Czech-based brand Skoda.
The company said Michael Horn
will remain as president and CEO
of Volkswagen Group of America,
but its US, Canada and Mexico
markets will be "combined and
significantly strengthened" to form
a new "North America region."
The board called for hiring Ger-
man and American lawyers "to
objectively investigate and fully
clarify the manipulation of emis-
sions data of diesel engines." It did
not specify who they would be.
Volkswagen has yet to describe
in full what cars contain the sus-
pect software and where they were
sold. On Friday, however, it said
the vehicles include 5 million cars
made by the core Volkswagen
brand---with models such as the
sixth-generation Golf, seventh-
generation Passat and first-gen-
eration Tiguan containing the
In Germany, Transport Minister
Alexander Dobrindt told Parlia-
ment that 2.8 million vehicles in
Germany are affected---diesels with
2-litre and 1.6-litre engines and
possibly with 1.2-litre engines. He
said light commercial vehicles also
have the engines.
German authorities asked Volk-
swagen whether it is able to elim-
inate the emissions manipulations
and said they expected "a binding
timetable" for finding a technical
solution and implementing it,
Dobrindt said. (AP)
VW taps head of
Porsche to be new CEO
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