Volkswagen emissions scandal

The Volkswagen emissions scandal, sometimes known as Dieselgate[23][24] or Emissionsgate,[25][26] began in September 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to German automaker Volkswagen Group.[27] The agency had found that Volkswagen had intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate their emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing, which caused the vehicles' NO
x
output to meet US standards during regulatory testing, while they emitted up to 40 times more NO
x
in real-world driving.[28] Volkswagen deployed this software in about 11 million cars worldwide, including 500,000 in the United States, in model years 2009 through 2015.[29][30][31][32]

Volkswagen emissions scandal
A 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI with defeat device displaying "Clean Diesel" at the Detroit Auto Show
Date2008–2015
LocationWorldwide
Also known asDieselgate, Emissionsgate
TypeEmission standard violations
CauseEngaging full emissions control only during testing
ParticipantsInternational Council on Clean Transportation, West Virginia University, Volkswagen Group, US EPA, other regulators
OutcomeFines and lawsuits
Footagevwdieselinfo.com
Timeline
1999New US Tier 2 rules established to replace Tier 1. NO
x
limit decreasing from 1.0 g/mi to 0.07 g/mi
2004–2009Phase in period of diesel emissions rules
2007Volkswagen suspends sales of current diesel lines awaiting technology to meet new standards. Bosch allegedly warns Volkswagen not to use its software illegally[1][2]
2008Volkswagen announces new Clean Diesel cars. Some cars are described in Europe as "EU4 emissions standard (EU5 compliant)".[3] Cars with the test-rigging software are sold in the UK.[4]
2009US Tier 2 fully in effect,
Volkswagen TDI cars go on sale in US. In Europe, some models are now being described as Euro emission class 5, a change from class 4 in 2008.[3][5]
2009–2015Volkswagen diesel sales in the US rebound, Clean Diesels win several environmental awards, receive tax breaks
2014International Council on Clean Transportation asks WVU CAFEE to help demonstrate the benefits of US diesel technology, hoping to have Europe follow suit
May 2014Instead, CAFEE finds discrepancies showing poor on-road emissions. Results presented at public forum and published, getting attention of EPA
2014–2015EPA repeats tests, and contacts Volkswagen for explanation of poor real world NO
x
emissions
Dec 2014Volkswagen orders voluntary recall of TDI cars but CARB and EPA not satisfied
3 September 2015EPA threatens to not certify 2016 diesels, Volkswagen responds by admitting software was programmed to cheat testing
18 September 2015Public announcement by EPA of order to recall 2009–2015 cars
20 September 2015Volkswagen admits deception, issues public apology
21 September 2015First business day after news, Volkswagen stock down 20 percent
22 September 2015Volkswagen to spend $7.3B to cover costs of scandal; stock declines another 17 percent
23 September 2015CEO Martin Winterkorn resigns
29 September 2015Volkswagen announces plans to refit up to 11 million vehicles affected by the emissions violations scandal
2 October 2015Volkswagen sets up an online based service on which customers can check if their car is affected based on the vehicle identification number
8 October 2015Volkswagen US CEO Michael Horn testifies before US Congress
3 November 2015Volkswagen's investigation finds that CO
2
emissions and fuel consumption figures are also affected by "irregularities".[6]
25 November 2015The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) approves Volkswagen fixes for 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 diesel engines in Europe.[7][8]
9 December 2015Volkswagen revises previous estimates on CO
2
emissions irregularities, saying that only around 36,000 vehicles are affected.[9]
9 March 2016Volkswagen US CEO Michael Horn resigns, citing a "mutual agreement" with the company.[10]
21 April 2016Volkswagen announces that it will offer its US customers "substantial compensation" and car buyback offers for nearly 500,000 2.0-litre vehicles.[11]
6 Nov 2016Regulators in California discover that Audi engines were rigged to produce lower CO
2
.[12]
11 January 2017Volkswagen agrees to plead guilty to the emissions scandal and to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. Six Volkswagen executives are charged.[13][14]
3 May 2018Ex-CEO Winterkorn is indicted on fraud and conspiracy charges in the US[15]
18 June 2018In connection with the case, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is arrested in Germany.[16]
16 October 2018Audi agrees to a fine of €800 million in Germany to resolve civil claims over duty to oversight (Verletzung der Aufsichtspflicht in Unternehmen)[17]
14 March 2019US SEC alleges that Volkswagen AG, Martin Winterkorn, et al. defrauded investors and files suit in N.D. Cal.[18]
15 April 2019Winterkorn and four other executives are charged by prosecutors in Braunschweig, Germany.[19]
31 July 2019Stadler and three others are charged by prosecutors in Munich, Germany.[20]
24 September 2019Pötsch, Diess, and Winterkorn are charged with stock market manipulation by prosecutors in Germany.[21]
14 January 2020Six additional individuals are charged by prosecutors in Braunschweig, Germany.[22]