Volkswagen's US diesel emissions fraud settlement: $15 billion, largest in US history

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That’s a lot of clams.


Congratulations Volkswagon, you multinational industrial putz. And you… yeah, YOU, you obnoxiously dense regulators, fiddling your fiddles while the world burns. Imagine what $15 billion would buy for renewables? Or for carbon-sink agriculture reform? Even that’s just a tiny drop in the bucket.

Volkswagon’s annual revenue is €213 billion.

You want real punishment? Volkswagon is forced to stop producing ICE cars altogether, given five years to retool and develop a €4 trillion, 40 year business plan to produce, install and support a branded global renewable carbon negative transportation infrastructure. Too big to fail my ass.

If these companies don’t stop bottlenecking CO2 reductions then this is how the world as we know it ends. Fuck any company making over $100 million in sales that isn’t doing something significant about it. Thank you George Carlin. I’ll see myself out. Register your complaints below.


Great illustration!

I will still boycott VW. But; good. I’m glad to hear their penalty will be substantial. They deserve every bit of it (and more).

The (professional) engineers that signed off on this should be identified and banned from working in the industry as well. It’s clearly malpractice.


What do all of VW’s dealers and suppliers and 588,902 employees do for those five years?


With $15 billion in profit in 2014, they can just mark this under deductible operating costs. No big whoop.


It’s not really substantial, measured against their annual profits.

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I hear ya. That’s what I meant by “(and more)”.

I suppose it’s up to consumers to levy their own verdict now.

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What, you’re trying straighten me out on practicalities? I’ll put you in the too big to fail camp.

Volkswagon wouldn’t hesitate to lay off half their workforce if they could. And if they go bankrupt then what happens to those 588,000 jobs? They give no shits. Exxon gives no shits. Foxconn? No shits.

Cargill: No shits. too big to fail.
Samsung: NS. TBF.
Toyota: …ah fuck it… here’s the short list of too big to fail:

These are corporations. They lie. They’re aggressively protective. They demonstrate again and again the capability and eagerness to completely shutter a well-oiled factory with good paying jobs and relocate lock stock and barrel to somewhere they pay less tax, lower wages, and give fewer shits. What about those jobs? And as for re-tooling they’re doing it anyway, all the time. Corporations completely change what they make, again and again as markets demand.

They are bumbling idiot savant giants laying waste to the Earth, lacking any direction other than obligations to shareholders and a pathological focus on production efficiency. Every one of them could re-jig their product lines at the drop of a hat. They are the only human enterprise with enough scale, clout and knowledge to directly affect the course of climate change. It would be a world war on humanity’s industrial mistakes, with hope for a new economy and re-balanced eco-system emerging on the other side.

588,000 ICE manufacturing jobs? Gone. And good riddance. They’d be replaced tenfold with all new opportunities and the effects would last generations.


Are the CEO and the Board of Directors rotting in prison? No?

Then justice is not done.


Remember, this is just the civil claims. It’d be a bit much to expect the criminal investigations to get convictions in just nine months.

Wow some pissed off people here. I know cars (especially the gas versions) are fun to pick on but I’ll toss these out here to remind people…

1 - This wasn’t about carbon and isn’t a global warming issue - it’s a quality of life issue - the emissions in question are the kind that give people cancer. Perhaps not your particular ax to grind however the damage to ‘us’ won’t be seen for decades - although if your cause is global warming you should be cheering (not jeering) VW - they are killing people (perhaps slowly but they are reducing our global carbon footprint all the same).

2 - cars aren’t the boogieman - seriously. Get rid of all the coal plants on the planet and we’d be ok even if we doubled the cars. That’s why solar/wind/even nuclear are better options and what really should be the focus. China puts out enough coal dust to cause the snow in the arctics to be sooty.

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The VW management made a deliberate decision to engage in a criminal conspiracy that they knew would ultimately result in suffering and death for a large number of people.

When poor people do that, we call them serial killers or terrorists. When corporate CEOs do it, they “negotiate” a fine that doesn’t even come out of their own pockets.


Letting VW continue to operate is not on the same level as spending money to bail it out. It’s not “too big to fail” in the same way as AIG or Citigroup because it’s not about the amount of capital it controls, it’s about the jobs it provides. Putting that many people out of work all at once (and don’t forget the knock-on effects on VW’s suppliers, which might well double the number) is very bad policy. You’d criticize a corporation shuttering plants to move manufacturing to someplace cheaper overseas, but you’re fine with the government essentially doing the same thing?

Good riddance indeed, but how about getting those “new opportunities” in place first. Along with this $15b, mandate a pivot away from traditional ICEs. The company is chastened, workers keep working, and auto manufacturing is steered in a better direction.

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Good points all. My broader point stands. Volkswagon has learned no lesson. It can’t. It’s not a moral being and this is the source of the problem.

I’m unsure why you replied to me directly with this comment but I didn’t have anything in my post that excused what they did - in fact I accused them of killing people.

Accusation of killing people does not equal ‘they are good guys let them off’.

So while I agree with you - I would still like to say … what the fuck?


…read to me as if you were implying that the pissed-offness was unjustified or excessive.

Well if you read the posts in this thread… I think you will find the preponderance of the overly upset posts are about global warming. I was being polite and not singling anyone out to make my point.