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Amid Emissions Scandal, A Bumpy Road Ahead For Volkswagen46:57
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Volkswagen’s CEO steps down as the emissions scandal snowballs. We’ll look at the bumpy road ahead.

President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. Michael Horn introduces the new Volkswagen Passat during a reveal event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in New York. (AP)
President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. Michael Horn introduces the new Volkswagen Passat during a reveal event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in New York. (AP)

The story of Volkswagen’s big cheat on automotive emissions has gone from big and unbelievable to huge and kind of astounding. Eleven million cars equipped with lying software when it comes to their pollution. A CEO, out. A criminal investigation called for. One of the world’s very biggest automakers – with a long history and once-lustrous reputation – facing a completely uncertain future. And millions of car owners wondering, “What now?” with dirty cars they thought were clean. What happened here? This hour On Point, all we know on VW’s big cheat. And now what?
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

John Stoll, Detroit bureau chief and global automotive editor for The Wall Street Journal. (@johndstoll)

Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. (@TysonSlocum)

John German, senior fellow at the International Council on Clean Transportation. One of two people to discover the VW emissions discrepancy.

Zeynep Tufekci, professor in the school of information and library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. (@zeynep)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: How Car Software Can Rig a Test — "Car makers woo customers with promises of speed, acceleration and braking distance. Less sexy is the increasingly critical element that helps them deliver that performance: software. In the case of Volkswagen AG, it was software that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says allowed about 500,000 U.S.-sold Volkswagen-made cars to pass emissions tests.

USA Today: Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigns amid scandal — "Volkswagen's executive committee, a sub-panel of its full board, said it's 'expecting further personnel consequences in the next days' as its investigation proceeds into how the company installed sophisticated software onto 11 million diesel cars to avoid emissions regulations. The committee also took the extraordinary step of saying it would submit a criminal complaint about the company's actions to prosecutors in Germany. But the panel said Winterkorn had nothing to do with the software."

New York Times: Volkswagen and the Era of Cheating Software — "In a world where more and more objects are run by software, we need to have better ways to catch such cheaters. As the Volkswagen case demonstrates, a smart object can lie and cheat. It can tell when it’s being tested, and it can beat the test."

VW Cars On The EPA's Emissions Violation List

The EPA lists the cars that contain "a sophisticated software device that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants," below:

  • Jetta (model year 2009–2015)
  • Jetta Sportwagen (2009-2014)
  • Beetle (2013–2015)
  • Beetle Convertible (2013-2015)
  • Audi A3 (2010–2015)
  • Golf (2010–2015)
  • Golf Sportwagen (2015)
  • Passat (2012-2015)

This program aired on September 24, 2015.

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