Feds Indict Six Volkswagen Executives In Emissions Fraud Scandal As Company Agrees To Pay $4.3B Fine

So much for “clean diesel.” NBC News reports:

Volkswagen will pay a $4.3 billion penalty for diesel emissions rigging, the U.S. Justice Department and several other federal agencies announced on Wednesday. As a result of the criminal investigation into the diesel scandal, regulators also revealed that six executives have been indicted on charges ranging from wire fraud to conspiracy to defraud the government. Justice officials said the investigation will continue into actions that might have been taken by other officials. The list of those involved in the scandal include some “very significant people in the company,” said the Feds, directly contradicting the automaker’s claims that only a “handful” of “rogue” workers had been involved.

According to Attorney General Lynch, the VW investigation has not wrapped up. Other individuals within the company are still under the microscope and could face further charges. The automaker reached a civil settlement with the Department of Justice, EPA and several other federal and California agencies in June. Of the $14.7 billion price tag, about $10 billion was earmarked for a buyback program covering the 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. It reached another civil agreement last month covering the 3.0-liter engine worth as much as $2.0 billion, though VW hopes to repair, rather than replace those vehicles.


  • Rocco Gibraltar

    Next year they will be paid a subsidy for being job creators. Environment be damned

    • Gustav2

      And Trump will order a VW limo

      • Judas Peckerwood

        Nothing less than a gold-plated Rolls will do for Tsar Trump. Gotta be classy, ya know!

        • ColdCountry

          A Silver Cloud. Or, perhaps, a Gold Cloud?

        • Guy in CA

          It would have to be a Bentley (VW subsidiary), BMW owns RR.

      • Nowhereman

        And of course it will be a diesel so that he can have fun poking the environment in the eye by rolling coal.

      • Soniacmazzone

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj33d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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    • Kate

      They should be going to prison. Fraud takes away the power from people to choose, in this case the power to choose cars with reasonable emissions.

      Lie to sell your product? You should go to prison.

      • ColdCountry

        And that should work for politicians, too.

        • Kate

          If you steal something of value through deception, certainly.

          As for winning votes by lying, if we enforced that, every president in the past 80 years or so would end up incarcerated.

          Imagine if Obama had been legally accountable for his “Keep your plan” crap. Or, when he insisted he wouldn’t use executive action to overrule congress on immigration issues, because “I’m not a King”. Or, when he said that most young Americans didn’t have health insurance while trying to pitch ObamaCare enrolment. Or, when he said that premiums went up slower under ObamaCare than they had in the last 50 years. Or, when he blamed 90 percent of the deficit increases on Bush and the recession. Or, when he tried to blame Bush for Fast and Furious. Or, when he claimed that the Romney budget would double student loan interest rates.

          If politicians went to prison for lying, we’d quickly run out of politicians.

          • ColdCountry

            I think I read different history books.

          • Guest

            The keep your own comment was not a lie, but a inarticulate comment. A lie is a lie with intent. He was referencing plans that met the new standards, which most did. He was not comparing those junk plans to those ACA plans. That is a righty lie that he lied.

            But even if you did not know that, a righty like you would never accept a fact that goes against your wanted world beliefs.

            If you wish to fault him, then fault him honestly and call him on not being specific to what he was referring too.

            Also, some of his people had led him to the belief that they could keep those junk plans for another year than what it was. The law was written to give the president a lot of implementation room. That is why he extended that junk plan allowance for another year.

            Is there anything a righty will not misrepresent or lie about?

  • kaydenpat

    Good to see AG Lynch working hard right up to the last moments.

  • BobSF_94117

    Trump’s second pardon all teed up.

  • Paula

    I am happy to say that I got a settlement out of VW for owning a Jetta TDI.
    They paid me $3,049 for the value that my car lost during the trade in.
    France, here I come!

    • i thought i was going to sweep you off your feet and move to New Zealand. darnit. but it’s OK, my French is better than my Maori.

      • Paula

        Moi, aussi, ma chere!

  • Gil


    Don’t look at the bankers behind the curtain.

  • Max_1

    Up next: Trump nominates VW CEO as Transportation Sec.

    • ColdCountry

      Head of Environmental Protection?

    • Paula

      TDI Diesel team will work for the EPA.

  • Jerry

    Does anyone think that any corporation, in the next 4 years, will be investigated for fraud? I guess maybe if they piss off the shit gibbon…otherwise, it’s gonna be a corporate free-for-all.

    • another_steve

      Agree totally with what you say there, Jerry.

      It’s “anything goes.”

      (Except where you impact the Trump children’s Rate of Return.)

    • BearEyes

      hence the run-up in the stock market – grab it while you can

      • Jerry

        I cashed out and am waiting on the next crash to buy low again. The markets like stability, and we have anything but a stable administration. That, and after the next round of deregulation, it usually takes only a couple of years for the casino to go bankrupt.

    • Kate

      The feds can go after things that are done across state lines, but for the most point, the convictions should be done on a state basis anyway. No “club fed” (Federal Prison Camp) – throw the book at them.

      Fraud takes away the power of the market to choose, so the Republicans should be very anti-fraud.

      • Jerry

        But sadly with their deregulation, they’re for not making it considered “fraud” in the first place. Their “free market” generally means anything goes.

        • Kate

          Free markets require people to be able to make informed decisions, of a consensual nature. When that happens, we get mutually beneficial trade.

          That’s why healthcare doesn’t really work – the billing is too complicated, and providers won’t (or often can’t) tell you the price of services before you go. Comparison shopping is often impossible for minor care, and in an emergency, you often aren’t in a position to choose in the first place. Single-payer makes more sense.

          Likewise, fraud is horrible for a market. People who innovate and build quality products have to compete with people who lie and build crappy products, or who counterfeit their products. It discourages the creation of quality goods.

          To support free markets, one should also support honest markets. Anything else takes away from people the power to choose from products on the basis of value.

          It’s not even a positive right – an obligation upon someone else. It’s a negative right – the right to not be lied to by those who engage in commerce. Protecting people from fraud serves the same ends as protecting them from theft by other means.

          • Guest

            There has never once in the history of humans been a free market. If we understand the birthplace of writing and math was ancient Sumer, then we have to look at the first time 2 or more temple gods each got a cut of taxes, there was regulation.

            Back further, when 2 or more tribes of hunter and gather humans agreed to trade and not kill each other, and follow rules, there was no free market.

            But do keep up your framing of lies.

          • Guest

            Funny how do single payer works in countries all over, and the people, when polled would never let it go

            Funny how companies love single payer. Why? Because it is one less expense.

            Companies make good money, some even better money in France, England, Germany, etc. They do not run from counties with national health care

            This whole liartarian view is what teenagers like for justifying selfishness. A modern society cannot work without deep regulation.

            My kid cannot take peanut butter sandwiches to school because your kid is allergic to peanuts. Fine, it is a good moral decision and good regulation. But the liartarian view says you do not have to vaccinate your kid for religious reasons or for idiot beliefs from some righty liar, and thus endangering other kids

            Grow up from such a selfish, Ayn Rand belief system. Just grow up.

            And funny how Rand sure went begging for her social security, even though she paid so very little into it, refusing and was only there for a few years ago. Johnny Carson destroyed her in a couple of interviews. Jon Stewart destroyed thst belief system a few years s ago

            Just grow up.

          • Kate

            I’m not a Libertarian, and I support single payer because healthcare doesn’t work as a market driven system.

      • Guest

        A liartarian view, 50 state set of laws.

        Your belief is stupid and historically wrong. The actual founding fathers, living under our first Constitution, the articles of confederation (that word again for state rights) realized within 10 years that we needed auch stronger federal government and gave us our current Constitution, plus additions, etc. over the years.

        It is your history. Learn it, be factual, and do not do partial truths. Too bad the right can never do that, as it goes against their wants.

    • Michael Abbett

      That was my first thought. Then they will do away with any consumer protections so we’ll have no recourse when we purchase something that is defective. We just received stickers this week to put on our Samsung washing machine that has a history of literally blowing its top during spin cycles. Some more recent customers got replacement washers, but since ours was over a year old we got stickers to relabel their misleading control knob. People will have to rely on word of mouth when it comes to defective products under Twitler. Oh, and our take away from this? Buy Speed Queen.

      • Jerry

        My old one is still working…Frigidaire, I think…that was new in 1997. I also keep waiting for my 28″ Sanyo TV (console, 2004) to die so I can get a nice large flat screen.

        But I’m actually more concerned with products that will poison people (FDA), and a return to no-limits cheating on financial products (bank fees, mortgages, credit cards), where the victims will have no recourse.

  • Stev84

    It’s nothing but an economical war. American companies get away with polluting everything, but foreign companies are fined and charged. For the right reasons maybe, but the rules just aren’t applied equally.

    • AJ Drew

      Maybe, and probably. But… Ms Lynch (and Obama?,) are full-steam ahead. Finally. “Equal rules” seem to be out the window with DT, so… not saying it’s ethically ok, but…

    • Millstone

      Got a citation to back up that bit of random bullshit?

  • AJ Drew

    This is a “Yikes!” on many levels… perhaps most importantly:

    The list of those involved in the scandal include some “very significant people in the company,” said the Feds, directly contradicting the automaker’s claims that only a “handful” of “rogue” workers had been involved.

    Do I dare think “hope and change” and “yes we can” still exists?

    • Judas Peckerwood

      Yeah, for another 10 days.

      • AJ Drew

        Perhaps, but it’s on record now, and even if that 4.3 BILLION fine somehow goes away, that’s still a remarkable amount, if only on paper.

  • Lars Littlefield

    I’ve never owned a VW product. Somehow that was a bullet I successfully dodged through the 60s, 70s and 80s. Although, it seems everyone I know who bought a VW ended up paying a lot of money to keep them running. I’m just grateful they don’t manufacture jet engines for the commercial aircraft industry.

    • colin payne

      Too bad…you don’t know what you missed. I’ve never had a VW that gave me problems or cost too much to keep them running. In fact, the next to the last one has 220,000 miles on it and still has the original clutch. My present one has almost 100k miles and has cost me all of $100 on non scheduled maintenance (which wasn’t costlier than any other car).

      • TuuxKabin

        We bought a ’95 ‘combi’, van, in Mexico in ’08. Drove it all over the Yucatan for three years, the mechanic for it ‘grew up’ working on that thing. Told us we probably had the best ‘combi’ in all of Mexico. Ideal vehicle. From what I hear it’s still running and has been featured in Volcho magazine, dedicated to VW’s. Too bad this latest.

    • Do Something Nice

      I’ve driven them for 45 years, but, because of this scandal, I’m looking at other brands for my next car purchase.

      All have been wonderful cars to drive, although one of them did give me problems with the power windows.

      I’m looking at Mercedes, Citroen, Peugeot, Renault or Mazda for my next car.

    • Friday

      Well, with the 60’s ones that’s mostly a matter of deferred maintenance by people who had other priorities, but a reasonably-smart hippie could keep one going with a crescent wrench, a particular manual with cartoons, and a JC Whitney catalog, more or less. 🙂 Sometimes the problem is that’s more or less exactly what happened. 🙂

      • mad-dog

        The cartoon service manuals for the various VW products were among the greatest publications in the English language.

        • Friday

          They really are. 🙂

  • DaddyRay

    Can we get the same level of scrutiny for “Clean Coal”

  • Joe in PA

    Yeah, we are still waiting for the settlement details on the 3.0. Looks like we won’t be getting a ‘buy-back’ deal.

    If only we could indict some politicians for lying like this. 🙁

    • Friday

      Well, I think some of them can be tuned so they don’t lose too much power/efficiency or something. The problem is a lot of them just won’t perform anywhere near as advertised *and* actually pass emissions without computers cheating when someone hooks up the tester. I’d be feeling ripped off anyway.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Well at least we’ll always have “clean coal”…

  • another_steve

    Oh please let my Honda baby remain scandal-free.

    Please please please.

    Don’t disappoint me, Honda baby.

    • Todd20036

      My car is s pair of shoes, and when they wear out I buy another.

      May not be as sexy as a Porsche but I’ll take my firm butt over a car any day

      • another_steve

        The Honda babies (well-cared for) don’t wear out.

        I owned the same Honda Civic for 25 years.

        Now I own a Honda CR-V, which I totally expect my husband will have to get rid of when I’m gone.

      • rusty57

        Rumor has it that there are those who would take your firm butt over a car any day. Or night.

    • Friday

      Keep dat in tune, change your oil, watch your tire pressure, you will save some of what VW just wasted. 🙂 Only recalls I remember offhand would be about airbags which a number of Japanese brands used in various models a few years, but if you google, search on Honda, your year and model and ‘recall’ and you’ll probably find you’re OK.

  • Martin

    OT: Mechanical Object Cooled To Almost Exactly Absolute Zero In Amazing Breakthrough.


    Huge news for quantum computing buffs.

    • BobSF_94117

      “The experiment was nearly ruined when one of the lab techs almost managed to touch the containment vessel with his tongue to see how cold it was. He was, fortunately, stopped by his mother.”

    • another_steve

      I view all scientific breakthroughs via the question, “Does it bring us closer to “Beam me up, Scotty?””

  • Ninja0980

    Too bad none of them will be going to jail.

    • dammit this blog is too fast. i was just coming here to say that.

      loving how they put the black woman out front. no, actually i’m not and it shouldn’t fool anyone. it’s pathetic.

      • colin payne

        She’s the Attorney General. Who else would be in charge of a case run by the Department of Justice?

        • Millstone

          Unlikely you’ll get an answer from her; generally when someone calls her out on her stupid she pretends it never happened and bloviates at other blogs.

      • Millstone

        The “black woman” is Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Lordy, you do love your identity politics.

        Maybe they all look alike to you.

  • DaddyRay

    OT: Trump Supporters are out of luck

    Company recalls boots when customer finds swastikas on the soles

    • ColdCountry

      That’s just… weird. No one caught that? Or, are a bunch of people about to get fired?

      • Todd20036

        Probably the latter.

      • DaddyRay

        According to the article, the boots were named Polar Fox.

        Arctic Fox was the codename of a Nazi campaign against The Soviet Union.

        The plot thickens…

  • BearEyes

    and between the banks and Wall St, we have what? 1 maybe, despite all their shenanigans.

    • Max_1

      Bernie Madoff ripped off rich people… He’s a bad guy. But Goldsach’s Man ripped off middle class people and he’s rewarded a position in the Government.

  • thom

    ot to this post, but… Trumps plan to have the media turn on each other seems to be going flawlessly. all afternoon news organizations have been questioning buzzfeeds decision to release the unverified report. buzzfeed is hitting back and further exasperating it by selling tshirts that say “failing pile of garbage”
    (all proceeds go to PressFreedom, but they are becoming the story now)
    in my mind CNN got the story about right. it was breaking news but without sharing the unverified report. for me it’s not an issue of fairness or legality. but by releasing a report that will likely be largely debunked it hurts our efforts to combat Trump. every detail that gets shot down will embolden his supporters and increase the skepticism of the media. by the time we find something actionable most Americans will assume it’s fake news

    • ColdCountry

      I do agree for the most part, but I, for one, have already reached the ‘is it real, or is it memorex’ stage.

  • Marti386

    Oh, Volkswagen. What happened to you since those carefree days back in the 90’s when you told us we could buy back our soul with a VW bug?

    Guess you didn’t take your own advice.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Or the halcyon days of the 30s building the “People’s Car” for Herr Hitler?

      • Friday

        To be fair, the ‘Volkswagen’ (the Beetle) was never actually built in any numbers until *after* the war and the Brits needed to give people in their sector something to *do.* Cause before that it was basically just propaganda. Ferdinand Porsche, they mostly put to work on tanks and stuff when military escalation happened.

  • greenmanTN

    How quaint. Corporate responsibility. I bet it’s a few years before see that again.

  • Do Something Nice

    And how many executive were indicted for the 2008 economic meltdown?

    • Gil

      What meltdown? The (real) economy is growing, growing, growing! You’re just too short to reach it.

  • IamM
  • MBear

    At least they’re getting the execs on this one and not some flunkies who were doing what they were told for their crust of bread a day

  • Jukesgrrl

    It took eight years to get an indictment of some corporate robber barons. Three cheers for Attorney General Lynch. She did what Eric Holder wouldn’t. But they’re still not from Wall Street.

  • Stubenville

    How about some shiny chrome bracelets for senior executives at the financial institutions which nearly collapsed the US economy? Am I asking too much?

  • Halou

    Enjoy this moment while you can, people, as we shall not see a large corporation held to account like this for at least a generation. The best we can hope for is that they accidentally incur King Donald’s Twittery wrath from time to time.

  • CJAS

    This is interesting. In the last two years we’ve learned that GM and Chrysler knowingly putting vehicles on the road with defects they believed would result in, and did, people being killed. But intentionally cheating emissions regulations results in indictments?