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That's "lie barrels"...the "minister" word is OK though.
Ontario government executes search warrant at Volkswagen offices
The Canadian Press
First posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 10:07 AM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 01:25 PM EDT
The federal government should be moving ahead with action against Volkswagen in the wake of news that Ontario has charged the company and carried out a raid on its headquarters, according to an environmental organization.
On Tuesday, provincial authorities executed a search warrant at Volkswagen Canada offices in the Toronto area as part of its investigation into the emissions scandal that rocked the company two years ago.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change said Wednesday it had charged Volkswagen AG with one count under the province’s Environmental Protection Act last week, alleging the German company did not comply with Ontario emission standards. The allegations have not been proven in court.
“It’s good news, finally. Now if we could just get Environment Canada to act on behalf of the country, that would be a great thing,” said Tim Gray, executive director of Environmental Defence.
He said the federal government has broader powers than the province and can impose higher fines on offenders that could be used to protect against pollution and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
His organization and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment filed suit over the summer to try to force Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to move forward on enforcing Canadian pollution laws allegedly broken by Volkswagen.
A statement from McKenna at the time said her department is investigating and will act if necessary. The department did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for an update.
The Ontario government said the search warrant was part of its continuing investigation.
“Yesterday, MOECC executed a search warrant at the company’s Ajax facility. Under the charge, Volkswagen is alleged to have caused or permitted the operation of vehicles that did not comply with emission standards prescribed by Ontario regulations,” said Environment Minister Chris Ballard in a statement.
“If the allegations are proven in court, penalties for the offence will be determined following a sentencing hearing.”
He added Volkswagen owners, dealers, service managers and technicians are not the focus of the investigation.
The company, meanwhile, said in a brief statement it is co-operating with the Ontario government and it would not be “appropriate” to comment further.
Earlier this year, Quebec and Ontario courts approved a settlement agreement with members of a Canadian class-action lawsuit who bought or leased certain Volkswagen or Audi vehicles with diesel engines caught up in the emissions cheating scandal.
It has been more than a year since Volkswagen agreed to pay more than $20 billion to settle criminal charges and civil claims related to the company’s sale of nearly 600,000 cars with “defeat devices” designed to beat U.S. emissions tests.
Volkswagen pleaded guilty in the U.S. after software was found in certain diesel vehicles that made it appear as though the cars were producing fewer emissions than they really were.
In fact, under normal conditions, the cars emitted 35 times Canada’s legal limit on nitrogen oxides, which have adverse effects on human health and contribute to climate change.
About 105,000 of the rigged vehicles were sold in Canada and Volkswagen has a court-certified settlement program underway to buy back the cars and compensate Canadians who owned or leased them.
Tony Faria, an auto industry analyst at the University of Windsor, said it’s not surprising that Ontario is laying charges two years after the scandal erupted.
“Officials everywhere, not just in Canada but in the U.S., Germany, many other countries where many Volkswagen vehicles had been sold, they’re all still looking into it and at this stage Volkswagen still isn’t finished by a long shot with all of the court cases they have to face,” he said.
He said the scandal has affected the entire market, noting Germany and France have announced plans to phase out diesel engines over the next 20 years.
Ontario government executes search warrant at Volkswagen offices | Ontario | New
Volkswagen suspends exec after report German automakers tested exhaust on monkeys
Associated Press
More from Associated Press
January 30, 2018
January 30, 2018 10:39 AM EST
In this file photo taken on June 22, 2016 a Volkswagen logo is seen on a VW Tiguan on display during German carmaker Volkswagen shareholders' annual general meeting.JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP/Getty Images
FRANKFURT — Automaker Volkswagen has suspended its head of external relations and sustainability in response to controversy over experiments in which monkeys were exposed to diesel exhaust.
The company said in a statement Tuesday that Thomas Steg was stepping away from his duties at his own request. Steg had said in an interview published in the Bild newspaper that he had known about the experiment but did not inform the company’s then-CEO, Martin Winterkorn.
In this file photo taken on August 7, 2017 a hose for an emission test is fixed in the exhaust pipe of a Volkswagen Golf 2,0 litre diesel car at the Technical Inspection Agency in Ludwigsburg, southwestern Germany. THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images
The statement from the automaker said that the company was “drawing the first consequences” as it investigates the activities of EUGT, the entity backed by Volkswagen and other carmakers that commissioned the monkey experiment.
The move follows a report in The New York Times that the now-disbanded EUGT commissioned the monkey test to show how Volkswagen’s diesel technology was succeeding in controlling harmful emissions.
But the test was done with a vehicle that used illegal software to cheat on emissions tests, turning controls off when the vehicle was not being tested. That practice was exposed in 2015, toppling then-CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said in the statement that “we are investigating in detail the work of EUGT, which was dissolved in 2017, and drawing the necessary conclusions.” He said that Steg “has declared that he takes full responsibility, and I respect that.”
This file photo taken on November 18, 2016 shows the CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) Matthias Mueller attending the company’s press conference in Wolfsburg, northern Germany. RONNY HARTMANN/AFP/Getty Images
Volkswagen said the probe would be carried out “at top speed.”
Government officials, environmental groups and animal rights activists all condemned the experiment.
Daimler and BMW also condemned the experiment and said they were investigating. The New York Times report said that the three companies backed EUGT financially.
The monkey scandal is another black eye for the German auto industry as it seeks to move past the Volkswagen scandal and the doubts it unleashed over how clean diesel technology really was. Volkswagen paid billions in fines and settlements and pleaded guilty to criminal charges. The Volkswagen case led to increased scrutiny of diesel cars from other manufacturers, which were found to emit more in everyday driving than during tests, though not necessarily through illegal software as at Volkswagen.
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Volkswagen suspends exec after report German automakers tested exhaust on monkeys | Toronto Sun
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested over emissions scandal
Associated Press
More from Associated Press
June 18, 2018
June 18, 2018 12:10 PM EDT
Rupert Stadler, CEO of German car producer Audi, briefs the media during the annual press conference in Ingolstadt, Germany on March 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
BERLIN — German authorities on Monday detained the chief executive of Volkswagen’s Audi division, Rupert Stadler, as part of a probe into the manipulation of emissions controls.
The move is an extension of the emissions scandal that has rocked Volkswagen since 2015 and led to billions in fines, the arrest of executives and the indictment in the U.S. of its former CEO.
Stadler’s detention follows a search last week of his private residence, ordered by Munich prosecutors investigating the manager on suspicion of fraud and indirect improprieties with documents.
“Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was provisionally arrested this morning,” the company said in a statement. It said shortly afterward that a judge had ordered him kept in custody pending possible charges at prosecutors’ request.
The company said that it couldn’t comment further due to the ongoing investigation, but stressed that “the presumption of innocence remains in place for Mr. Stadler.”
German news agency dpa reported that prosecutors decided to seek Stadler’s arrest due to fears he might try to evade justice. A former head of Audi’s engine development unit is already in investigative detention.
A total of 20 people are under suspicion in the Audi probe, which focuses on cars sold in Europe that were believed to be equipped with software that turned emissions controls on during lab testing and off again during regular driving to enhance road performance.
Audi said in a statement last week that it was “co-operating with the authorities” in the probe.
Volkswagen first admitted in 2015 of using software to cheat on U.S. emissions tests. That has cost it $20 billion in fines and civil settlements.
Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States and nine managers, including former CEO Martin Winterkorn, were charged there. Two are serving prison terms; Winterkorn and the others remained in Germany and are unlikely to be extradited.
German authorities this month fined Volkswagen $1.2 billion as part of their own investigation. They are also investigating Winterkorn and 48 others.
The arrest of the Audi CEO comes just weeks after Volkswagen tapped a new CEO to move the company past the scandal. Herbert Diess was given the top job in April and he said that besides focusing on new technologies, like electric cars, he wanted to build a more open, values-based culture to avoid the cheating that led to the emissions scandal.
Volkswagen shares were down 2.1 per cent at 157.66 euros in Frankfurt trading.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested over emissions scandal | Toronto Sun