June 16, 2024

Audi diesel scandal – advantage through fraud – news


It was not German engineering, but fraud, pure and simple. “Vorsprung durch Technik”, Audi’s previous slogan, has faded. The verdicts handed down against former high-ranking Audi managers – including ex-president Rupert Stadler – black and white prove the misconduct of the management team at the time.

Since their lofty cars can only comply with emissions values ​​set in the lab, but not on the road, Audi has been aided by unfair tricks. Audi was not an isolated case. Other Volkswagen Group brands such as Volkswagen and Porsche as well as competitors BMW and Mercedes have acted in the same way.

At Audi, it was not the individual subordinate engineers who committed the injustice, but the upper management who at least did not stop the illegal work.

Thanks to continued law enforcement

The suspects maintained their innocence for years. In the end, thanks to tenacious law enforcement and the tenacity of special prosecutors in the USA and Germany, the injustice was punished and some of those responsible were held accountable.

However, the diesel scandal is far from over with the latest ruling. Further action against former top managers is pending in Germany. Tens of thousands of compensation claims are still pending.

The defensive fight cost more than 30 billion euros

The legal defense also cost the auto companies and the defendants money and time. At VW alone, total spending in connection with the diesel scandal is now more than 30 billion euros. At the same time, the legal dispute has sucked the companies into their core business: They have defended a technology from the past and missed out on technical progress.

In parallel with the diesel scandal, which began to surface in 2015, the pace of electric mobility has increased. Car companies have long ignored this development and smiled at the up and coming newcomer, Tesla. It was only in the aftermath of the diesel scandal that new directors began to change. But German car companies have yet to catch up with the California climbers.

Matthew Heim

Business Editor

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Matthias Heim studied economic history. He has been working at SRF Radio broadcaster since 2007 and has been working as a business editor since 2016. His areas of expertise are aviation, tourism, transport, retail and energy.