Volkswagen – Diesel Emissions Cheat Timeline

Lots of VW owners are wanting to start a Volkswagen compensation claim, but why? This is a timeline of the events in the Volkswagen (VW) pollution cheating software scandal.

“Volkswagen are sinking deeper and deeper into the worse scandal to hit the car industry ever”  Richard Coulthard (Head of Litigation)

Volkswagen Compensation – news timeline

2007: VW stops sales of old diesel tech, emissions cheating software added to vehicles

Volkswagen suspends sales of their current diesel lines awaiting technology to meet new standards.

According to Bild, the German National Daily Newspaper, Bosch first supplied the suspect software to Volkswagen in 2007 to allow them to undertake internal testing only.

Martin Winterkorn was appointed Volkswagen’s chief executive.

2008: Clean Diesel cars, cheating software now in cars

VW announces range of new Clean Diesel cars. In Europe, some cars are described as “EU4 emissions standard (EU5 compliant)”

During this period and against the advice of Bosch, Volkswagen started installing the software in vehicles for public sale.

2009: New TDI engines launched

VW TDI cars go on sale in US for first time. In Europe, some of these models are being described as Euro emission class 5.

2011: Alarm initially raised

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported that back in 2011, VW actively buried whistleblower reports when VW employees sounded the alarm internally suggesting that the use of the software was illegal.

2014: Researchers test VW vehicles

Researchers at the University of West Virginia subjected Volkswagen vehicles to road tests. The findings showed that the cars spewed out up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide than is legally permissible in the US. The researchers inform the US authorities.

US authorities ask Volkswagen for a response; they suggest that the anomalies between the tests and the road performance are due to “different technical problems”.

By the end of 2014, Volkswagen in the US recalls a number of models for “software updates” and informs the authorities that it has remedied the problem.

May 2015: New tests undertaken in US

The US authorities, undertake a new series of tests, the results of which are still unsatisfactory. Both Volkswagen and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are informed and start a series of “technical meetings” between the two.

July 2015: Environmentalist questions in Germany

In response to a question from the German environmentalist Green party, the German government responds by admitting that it is aware of the existence of technologies that can cheat the results of emission tests, but says it has no information about whether such devices are actually in use by car manufacturers.

September 3: VW admit cheating

Volkswagen finally admits to US authorities that it deliberately installed software in its cars to cheat the US emissions tests.

This ‘defeat device’ covertly turns off pollution controls when the car is being driven normally and turns on when it detects that the vehicle is being tested for emissions.

September 18: Authorities go public

As VW shows off its new ‘eco-friendly’ models at the IAA auto show in Frankfurt (including the new Tiguan GTE – a concept vehicle with hybrid drive), the US authorities (including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) go live with accusations that Volkswagen installed clean-air cheating device software to evade US limits on nitrogen oxide and other major pollutants.

It’s announced that 500,000 vehicles in the US are affected with the ‘defeat device’, including 2009-14 Jettas, Beetles, Audi A3s and Golfs and 2014-15 Passats.

We start to get calls from owners about a potential Volkswagen compensation.

September 19: US Volkswagen dealers stop selling

Volkswagen US told its dealers to halt sales of remaining 2015 diesel cars with 2.0 litre engines.

September 20: CEO Winterkorn “sorry” and internal investigation

VW issues a statement late on Sunday in which Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn, says he is “deeply sorry” for having “broken the trust of our customers and the public”.

He says “Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter.”

We attract many more initial Volkswagen compensation claims.

September 21: News tests called for

The German government orders immediate “specific and extensive” tests on the vehicles concerned.

Professor Alastair Lewis of the University of York suggests that Volkswagen is unlikely to be the only manufacturer attempting to cheat their emissions.

We get the start of a number of official Volkswagen claims from upset owners who see the value of their vehicle declining.

September 22: 11 million vehicles

The now troubled carmaker admits that 11 million vehicles worldwide are equipped with the cheating software and Winterkorn offers his “deepest apologies” admitting that “We have totally screwed up”.

VW Group announced that they are setting aside 6.5 billion EUR to deal with any recalls, fines and volkswagen compensation claims.

September 23: Winterkorn resigns

Under fire, Winterkorn resigns, accepting responsibility as chief executive for what has happen and the loss of trust and credibility, but insisting that he personally was “not aware of wrongdoing”, but also that VW needed a “fresh start”.

Public prosecutors in Germany launch a preliminary inquiry after receiving a number of legal complaints from private individuals against VW.

As information becomes cleaner, we now have a significant number of Volkswagen claims, a class action suit already filed in the US.

September 24: UK DoT response, European tests manipulated!

The Department of Transport announced that it would begin re-testing cars from a variety of manufacturers to make sure the use of “defeat devices” is not industry wide.

VW manipulated diesel emissions tests in Europe, says Germany’s transport minister.

It may also be the case that the situation is much worse in the Europe as diesel vehicles are much more popular here.

September 25: New chief executive, US ban

Volkswagen names Matthias Mueller as Winterkorn’s successor.

In the US, authorities ban sales of Volkswagen diesel cars until 2016; Switzerland suspends sales of new Volkswagen models.

Michael Lewin Solicitors now have a huge number of individuals with Volkswagen claims.

September 27: Volkswagen must come clean

We call for Volkswagen to admit what the extent of the emissions ‘cheating’ is in the UK. UK consumers need to know what is going on.

September 28: Criminal probe in Germany

German prosecutors open a criminal investigation against ex-chief executive Winterkorn.

It is announced that Audi and Skoda have 3.3m cars have ‘cheat’ emissions software, it’s believed that Audi alone has some 1.42 million vehicles in Western Europe, a large percentage could be in the UK as it is a popular luxury car brand here. The affected Audi models are A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5.

September 29: Mass recall, Japan probe

Volkswagen signalled that it would recall up to 11 million vehicles in the

biggest recall in history as it tries to address the scandal over its admission that it cheated US diesel emissions tests.

Note: Even if your vehicle is recalled, you could still have an additional claim against Volkswagen as your car will be costing you more for fuel than you thought and Volkswagen are in breach of contract.

Japan orders diesel car emissions probe after VW scandal announced.

It’s announced that Volkswagen AG will be removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices as of October 6 as a consequence of the car maker’s alleged cheating on emission-test data.

Michael Lewin Solicitors call again for VW to admit exactly what has happened in the UK.

September 30: 2.1m vehicles in UK, £3,000 compensation likely, VW unlikely to face criminal charges

Volkswagen have admitted that there are 1.2m affected vehicles in the UK, these include VW brand, Audi, Seat and Skoda as well as VW commercial vehicles.

The Daily Mirror suggests that some owners could get as much as £3,000 compensation for the ‘cheat switch’ scandal.

In the US, the Justice Department admit that Volkswagen AG are unlikely to face criminal charges for cheating on emissions tests due to a loop-hole in their 1970 Clean Air Act.

October 1: VW stop sales of over 4,000 vehicles in the UK

VW took steps to stop the sales of thousands of vehicles in the UK that have the affected Euro 5 engine in it.

October 2: Carmakers in Europe cheating emissions tests

Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at T&E, said: “Carmakers in Europe are cheating their own customers by manipulating official tests, which leads to thousands of euros of additional fuel costs for drivers.”

October 4: Ford, Volvo, Renault, Other Automakers Defy EU Emissions Standards

Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobi-Club (ADAC), a German motoring group, says that diesel vehicles from popular car manufacturers also emit dangerous levels of pollution.

October 5: Online lookup tool launched, ‘cheat device’ used from 2008

Volkswagen have launched an online VIN look-up tool so that owners can see instantly whether their vehicle is affected by the ‘cheat device’.

Volkswagen have admitted that they begun rigging select engines in 2008.

October 6: 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 litre variants of the engine type EA 189 are affected

Volkswagen finally confirm what we all suspected, the 1.2L version of their EA189 Diesel engine is indeed affected by the ‘cheat device’.

October 7: UK recall timescale confirmed

Volkswagens new Chief Executive said that they expect to start recalling cars affected by the emissions scandal in January, the 1.2m UK vehicles could all be repaired by the end of 2016.

Richard Coulthard (Head of Litigation) reminds owners that although their VW vehicle could be fixed in the next 12 months, they will still be out of pocket and deserve compensation (Volkswagen Compensation).

October 9: US apology and full refunds!

Volkswagen US CEO Michael Horn makes ‘sincere apology’ over emissions scandal and said that VW is considering a full refunds for owners of “cheat switch” cars as compensation.

October 11: Replaced fuel injection systems

It emerged today that about 25-30% of all recalled vehicles would need changes to their fuel injection systems as well as having the software removed.

October 12: VW UK Boss questioned, Chinese Recall

The managing director of Volkswagen Group UK, Paul Willis was questioned by the transport select committee and apologised “sincerely and unreservedly”, and admitted that the software was used in UK vehicles as early as 2008.

Volkswagen has said it is recalling almost 2,000 cars in China as the fallout from the diesel emissions scandal continues.

October 13: VW scandal to come to the big screen!

Leonardo DiCaprio will bring the Volkswagen diesel’ scandal to the big screen in producing deal with Paramount.

October 14: Michael Lewin Solicitors writes to VW

Richard Coulthard (Head of Litigation) officially wrote to the Volkswagen Group to inform them of our intent to raise a class action against them. We also asked them to clarify the technical fix they intend to deploy and how they believe their official fix will affect our claimants vehicles.

October 15: Mass recall, 2016 vehicles contain more rogue software

Today the Germany’s automotive watchdog, the Federal Motor Transport Authority, announced that ut has ordered Volkswagen to recall 2.4 million vehicles.

In addition, Volkswagen has now admitted that its new 2016 vehicles also contain more software which would help them beat emission controls tests.

October 18: Volkswagen offices in France raided

The embattled German automaker has seen its offices in France raided by police seizing documents and computer hardware. Nearly one million diesel cars of the Volkswagen brands – VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat – have been sold in France in recent years fitted with the pollution-cheating software.

October 21: Volkswagen halt diesel vehicle sales

Volkswagen has ordered a halt to sales in Europe of all models that feature diesel engines equipped with defeat devices meant to falsify emissions compliance.

October 23: Volkswagen could offer discounts in Germany

Volkswagen is now looking into whether more vehicles contain software capable of cheating diesel emissions tests, potentially increasing the cost and disruption of a scandal that has rocked Europe’s biggest carmaker.

October 24: Volkswagen could offer discounts in Germany

Volkswagen have announced that they may offer VW owners in Germany discounts on new cars if they turn in certain old models affected by the emissions scandal.

October 25: Prices for used Volkswagen diesels have accelerated their decline

Kelley Blue Book is just one source finding VW diesel vehicle prices plummeting, with average auction price declines widening from down 13% two weeks after the scandal broke to down nearly 16% through to last week. This decline is expected to continue.

October 26: Volkswagen facing corporate manslaughter charge

Today, Transport minister Robert Goodwill says charge may be considered if legal advice suggests it could be successful. There are an estimated 6,000 premature deaths in the UK each year linked to emissions

October 27: Volkswagen reports £2.5bn loss

TROUBLED carmaker Volkswagen has announced a loss of £2.5 billion over the past three months, as the diesel emissions scandal takes its toll.

October 28: VW says 10-20 people responsible

Volkswagen believes that up to around 20 people were involved in its rigging of diesel-engine emissions tests; more than ten senior managers have now been suspended during an internal inquiry at the German carmaker.

October 29: VW pay for falling resale value

Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, says that Volkswagen ‘will have to address’ the falling resale value of cars after the emissions scandal – costing over £600m.

November 2: Porsche and new VW brands identified by EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States identified Porsche as a brand that they believe has the ‘defeat device’ added, and also named additional VW and Audi brands that were involved in the scandal – 2014 VW Touareg, 2015 Porsche Cayenne, 2016 Audi A6 Quattro; A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5. All these have the larger 3.0L V6 Diesel engine.

November 3: VW has now found problems with Petrol emissions

Volkswagen now says that it has found “irregularities” in carbon dioxide emissions levels in some of it’s petrol engines, which could affect around 800,000 cars in Europe. They have not said whether or not these irregularities are caused by deliberate action nor has it specified which models are affected.

November 4: VW could face billions in car tax repayments over latest CO2 scandal

Incorrect carbon emissions data could mean thousands of cars benefited from unduly low vehicle excise duty and Volkswagen could have to repay billions of pounds of tax credits to European governments.

November 10: US VW diesel owners to receive fuel card as compensation

Volkswagen’s US arm has put in place a scheme to provide two forms of compensation – a prepaid credit card, and a prepaid card of the same value, which is limited to being spent at Volkswagen service centres. No deals yet on how much the compensation is likely to be.

November 15: No compensation for UK victims of the VW emissions scandal

A suggestion has been made that British customers are unlikely to be offered any VW compensation, as cars affected in the UK should only require a “software fix” to put them right, while the fix in the US is expected to take longer, requiring vehicles to be off the road for a greater period of time.

November 16: Recall to start February 2016

Volkswagen will start the recall as late as February 2016, although the Department for Transport (DfT) has said that it won’t be issuing a mandatory recall for UK vehicles and that it’s currently voluntary for UK owners.

November 17: Volkswagen Offers $1000 Compensation to US Diesel vehicle Owners

In a goodwill gesture, affected US customers eligible for a ‘Goodwill Package’, and they are not required to waive their rights or release their claims against Volkswagen Group of America in order to receive the Package.

November 18: VW to expand diesel compensation, agree to buybacks

Two U.S. senators today urged Volkswagen AG to agree to buy back vehicles and offer compensation to drivers of all diesel vehicles that government regulators have found to have “defeat devices” to rig emissions standards.

November 19: Not just a UK and US problem!

An Australian law firm ​has confirmed that it’s the latest country to launched a class action lawsuit against VW.

November 23: VW refuse to pay compensation

VW announced that whilst they were planning to pay compensation to US drivers, they are not willing to compensate European drivers in the same way.

Follow this link if you would like to find out more about making a Volkswagen compensation claim.

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