1. Volkswagen has been sentenced to 3-years probation by a federal court.

    ...Volkswagen was nailed with felony counts for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and consumers, engaging in wire fraud, violating the federal Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and for importing merchandise by means of false statements.

    Maybe next time they'll think twice before defrauding customers and shredding thousands of documents during an open investigation (ok, probably not).

    For the next 3 years, the automaker will be under the watchful eye of Former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Larry D. Thompson and his team of experts in corporate monitoring.

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  2. Volkswagen is recalling 21,000 Touaregs because failing fuel filter flanges are causing fires.

    Yikes, and I thought Touareg was hard to say.

    "Investigators found that with time, oxidization can ... allow the components to intrude into the fuel filter flange material under pressure from the inside. In addition to the pressure, tension can cause the formation of small cracks where the fuel will eventually leak."

    Owners will either be given new fuel filter flanges or protective covers.

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  3. Volkswagen's German headquarters have been raided by German authorities in an ongoing fraud investigation over the diesel emissions scandal.

    Audi's HQ was also searched.

    VW's executives have had a ...ahem... hazy memory when it comes to details on when they first learned about the "defeat device" installed in their diesel cars. U.S. prosecutors think they knew about the emissions scheme for nearly a decade, and the raid was in search of evidence to prove it.

    One executive has already been arrested and five others indicted.

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  4. VW is a felon in the United States. The automotive giant plead guilty to 3 felonies related to their diesel emissions case, but that's not the end of the story.

    As AutoNews.com reports, District Judge Sean Cox still wants more time to consider the settlement details...

    "[the] judge said at the end of an 70 minute hearing that he wanted more time to consider the settlement’s $4.3 billion in fines and other actions given the “serious nature” of the crimes."

    VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion in civil and criminal fines, but is it enough? Personally, I'm holding out hope for executive jail cells where the air is partially filtered through the tailpipe of a "clean diesel" VW TDI.

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  5. It's been a bad week for 2017 Volkswagens. First there was a tiny recall for seized up engines in the 2017 Jetta.

    Now the 2017 Passat is being recalled to replace leaking brake lines.

    "Engineers traced the brake fluid leaks to end flares of the brake lines that were damaged during manufacturing, causing the seals to be faulty. A low brake fluid warning light will activate when the fluid reaches a certain level."

    Details on this recall are still coming in.

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  6. Whenever a recall is announced, there's good reason to hold your breath.

    Especially when you hear Volkswagen is recalling the 2017 Jetta because its 1.4-liter engine can seize up. Well, breath easy friends – because this recall is for two vehicles. Yes, two.

    Well breathe easy unless you're one of the two unlucky ones. Then you should probably breathe fire.

    "Volkswagen is giving two choices to the two owners (or one owner if they own both Jettas): VW will replace the engine block in the vehicle or buy back the vehicle. However, Volkswagen didn't say what will be paid for the new Jetta."

    And while you'd think this would be the smallest recall in history, Kia says step aside, amateurs.

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  7. Volkswagen has released a settlement update for 83,000 Audi, Porsche, and VW vehicles with TDI engines.

    And methinks most owners are going to be Scrooge McDuck levels of happy. Owners of the 2009-2012 VW Touareg 3.0L diesel have a decision to make.

    They can accept a buyback offer between $26,000 to $58,000 (depending on model year and mileage) or owners can keep their SUV, wait for VW's fix, and receive up to $15,380 as compensation for their troubles.

    Even previous owners will be eligible for payments ranging from $4,627 to $7,747.

    For owners of certain 2013-2016 Touareg TDIs, once VW gets the go-ahead from environmental regulators, they will fix the vehicles without offering any buybacks. However, once repaired, owners and lessees will get compensation ranging from $8,539 to $17,614.

    Current lessees will also be given the option to terminate their lease without any penalty.

    All this is to say that VW is paying through the nose for cheating on their diesel emissions. In total, more than $1 billion will be going back to consumers. And that number could grow significantly if they can't come up with an adequate fix.

    There's a breakdown of the details on CarComplaints.com.

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  8. For the love of everything, is there an airbag out there that's not trying to kill us these days?

    We all know about Takata, the airbag supplier which made moisture-sensitive, death traps that are responsible for worldwide panic. Well, not to be outdone we're now looking at more airbag recalls but this time from a supplier named Autoliv. From CarComplaints.com:

    "About 5,900 vehicles are affected by front passenger and side head airbags that may not deploy during a crash. In addition, the seat belt pre-tensioners may not activate during a crash if you're driving a 2017 Audi Q7, A4, A4 allroad or 2018 Audi Q5."

    The saddest part? Airbags that don't deploy may actually be safer than those that do deploy these days.

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  9. VW's compliance chief is leaving her job at the end of the month, according to Reuters. Well, that didn't take long.

    The role was setup to bring integrity to the board during the height of the diesel emissions scandal. It was VW's way of saying "gee whiz, we'll be better in the future."

    But Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt says she's leaving "due to differences in their understanding of responsibilities and future operating structures within the function she leads."

    If you were expecting major changes at the top, this is basically the board's way of saying blow it out your tail-pipe.

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  10. So when did Martin Winterkorn, the former CEO of Volkswagen, first learn about the whole diesel-emissions cheat?

    He can't remember, just that it was no earlier than what VW has already admitted to.

    I guess you could say his memory is hazy? (I'll see myself out). From Reuters:

    "Upon being asked whether he thought the diesel cheating could still be blamed on just a few engineers, Winterkorn acknowledged that more than a handful of staffers knew but said he did not know how many people were involved."
    "Asked why he himself had no earlier knowledge, Winterkorn said: "Software applications represent a very specific area of work in engine development."

    Is that very specific area usually filled with cheaters?

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