Call The European Emission Commission

They won’t answer or anything. But still.

Strange, these guys never stop producing dangerous emissions themselves.

Dieselgate
But when it comes to Dieselgate in Europe, it’s back to “I know nothing” again. How Eurocratic or something.

Meeting minutes, correspondence and conversation records that SPIEGEL ONLINE and the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet have obtained now show that the European Commission and member states knew, since 2010 at the latest, that the extremely harmful emissions from diesel cars were strikingly higher than legal levels.

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Germany’s Favorite Sports Car?

Hey, times change. Just ask the folks over at Volkswagen.

Mustang

In Germany, the land of the Autobahn, where speed is regarded as a national right, the best-selling sports car last month wasn’t the locally-built Porsche 911. It was the Ford Mustang.

The Mustang is relatively expensive in Germany compared to the United States. Prices for a four-cylinder turbocharged model there start at about €38,000, or roughly $43,000. Prices for that model in the U.S. start at less than $26,000. Prices for the powerful, V8 Ford GT start at the equivalent of almost $50,000, while the car costs about $32,000 in the U.S. (Car prices in Germany are quoted with taxes and fees included, which is not the case in the U.S.).

Despite the higher price, the GT is, by far, the most popular version of the car in Germany, according to Ford (F).

The Mustang has a huge price advantage over what is otherwise the best-selling sports car in Germany, the 911. That starts at €96,000 in Germany, or roughly $110,000, for a base model with no options.

Die Chefs von VW denken vor allem an ihre Millionen-Boni. Doch wofür? Dafür, dass der Konzern mit voller Wucht gegen die Wand gefahren wird?

If The Lawsuit Fits, Wear it

I’ve got your unresolved emissions issues for you right here, pal.

VW

But what’s $48 billion to Volkswagen? Wait a minute. Actually, wow. That’s quite a bit.

Remember when Germans used to be greener than green?

Although such U.S. lawsuits are typically settled at a fraction of the theoretical maximum penalty, analysts said the size of the claim meant Volkswagen (VW) could face a larger bill than previously anticipated.

Dieselgate Actually US-Amerikanische Conspiracy Or Something

But you knew that already, I hope.

Diesel

It was a few researchers from West Virginia (at least one German researcher working in the US was involved here, too, by the way) who brought down the might of the German automotive industry, exposing VW’s Dieselgate cheats. Do you think Germany is pleased about that?

Displeased might not be the right word, but the very healthy sense of irony in Germany came out strong as the industrial nation had to reckon with podunk yahoo America getting German tech on the global shitlist (see the FIFA scandal, “unfortunately” a similar situation). Let us not forget that VW is Germany’s biggest automaker, and making autos is Germany’s most proud export business.

This video comes from the publicly-funded ZDF TV network.

American cars. Non-manipulated. Out of love for the environment.

VW Too Big To Fail?

Then it’s too big. Think GM (Government Motors). Only different. As in much worse.

VW

At Volkswagen AG, political connections come already fitted.

When it comes to Volkswagen, German chancellors don’t intervene in company decisions. But the unique arrangement in Lower Saxony (it holds 20 percent of the company) has spawned alumni in high places with an interest in the boardroom, including Merkel’s Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder. Schroeder, who sat on VW’s supervisory board for eight years as state premier, was known as the “auto chancellor” when he led Germany from 1998 to 2005 because of his perceived closeness to the car industry.

Following him to Berlin after serving at his side in Lower Saxony was Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now in his second stint as Merkel’s foreign minister. Sigmar Gabriel, who succeeded Schroeder as state premier — and VW board member — is now vice chancellor and economy minister. He also heads the Social Democratic Party, Merkel’s junior coalition partner. Christian Wulff, a Christian Democrat like Merkel who succeeded Gabriel in the state capital Hanover, made it all the way to the German presidency, before resigning in 2012 amid a legal probe.

Im Abgas-Skandal, dessen Auswirkungen noch unübersehbar sind, rückt die Frage nach der Mitverantwortung der deutschen Politik in den Fokus. Und weil die politischen Spitzen der Republik wie geschockt schweigen und selbst die sonst geliebten Talkshows meiden, werden Vorwürfe laut, die Bundesregierung habe mit Volkswagen gekungelt und möglicherweise sogar von den Manipulationen gewusst.

I Got Your Green Credentials For You Right Here, Pal

“It’s ugly, but it gets you there.” But it’s ugly. And it’s getting uglier by the minute.

VW

The timing of the scandal could not be worse for the government.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to travel to New York on Friday to persuade fellow members of the United Nations to adopt climate goals ahead of a UN climate conference in Paris in December.

Merkel sees herself as champion of climate issues and would like to see Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power and the transition to renewable energy as one of her most lasting legacies.

In June, she helped draw up ambitious carbon emission reduction goals adopted by the Group of Seven (G7) countries.

At the same time, she has always robustly defended the interests of her country’s automakers and postponed the implementation of European emission limits.