Where Exhaust System Complaints Happen

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

Recent Exhaust System News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. Like many diesel vehicle owners, Allen and Jennifer Pickard chose to keep their two Passats as part of Volkswagen's $10-billion diesel emissions settlement.

    The agreement came with compensation contingent upon the exhaust system being modified to meet EPA standards. And sure, every owner knew that likely meant a knock to engine performance or fuel economy. But I doubt anyone expected this...

    According to court documents, both Passats have been in the custody of an authorized Volkswagen mechanic for months because the emissions repairs caused both cars to not start.

    The plaintiffs claim numerous attempts made by VW technicians have failed to fix the no-start problems, so the owners tried to trade in one of the Passats. The lawsuit alleges they were told a trade wasn't possible because the car was worth $0 since it couldn't be started.

    Needless to say the couple is … let’s call it, “unimpressed” with VW’s “fix” and has filed a lawsuit against the automaker.

    keep reading article "Lawsuit Says the VW Emissions “Fix” Has Disabled the Car Entirely "
  2. A new group of diesel owners are seeking “clean diesel” compensation from Volkswagen.

    The owners had not been covered by previous diesel settlements because they had sold or traded in the cars before dieselgate became public knowledge. From CarComplaints.com:

    Volkswagen told the judge those former owners and lessees are attempting to pry money out of the automaker's pockets even though the former owners didn't lose anything. When they sold or traded their diesel vehicles, or ended the lease agreements, the transactions occurred before the emissions scandal was known.

    The lawsuit boils down to economic harm. VW says the cars were sold at a value determined before anyone knew they spewed 40x the legal limit of NOx emissions, so dieselgate had no affect. The owners say they paid a premium for an eco-friendly car and should be compensated accordingly.

    Now a judge will decide if this case is a money grab.

    keep reading article "VW Says New Lawsuit Represents Group Unaffected by the “Clean Diesel” Scandal"
  3. South Korea's Ministry of Environment is upset that Volkswagen sent 2,500 diesel vehicles after a sales ban had been ordered by the government.

    The cars, which had been kept at port, were deemed illegal due to their emissions output.

    Now South Korea's government has a trade proposal for Volkswagen – they'll send the vehicles back, and in exchange VW can serve up some executive heads on a platter. I'm guessing there will be some negotiation.

    "The deportation of the diesel vehicles comes as South Korean prosecutors try to nail VW executives to the wall for alleged violations of clear air laws. Johannes Thammer, Park Dong-hoon and Trevor Hill say they did nothing wrong and were caught up in the emission scandal without warning."

    The three executives have been accused of setting up an illegal scheme to import 120,000 dirty diesels into South Korea between 2008 and 2015. Volkswagen thinks the country is being ridiculous and will appeal its $32 million fine.

    keep reading article "South Korea Wants to Trade Illegal Cars for VW Executives"
  4. Last week a federal judge granted final approval on a $1.22 billion settlement to fix or buy back 80,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the US.

    Poor Volkswagen. Oh, don't get me wrong – I don't feel bad for them. I just mean they must be poor by now with all these settlements.

    The settlement was announced back in December 2016]. Owners who opt to get their engines fixed can expect compensation between $7,000 and $16,000.

    A Bosch Settlement Too

    In addition, the judge approved a $327.5 million settlement for Bosch for its role in developing the engines.

    Bosch has denied any wrong-doing, but the company undeniably supplied VW with the defeat device software which was then used to cheat emissions on millions of 2-liter "clean diesel" engines.

    Prosecutors have previously tried to determine if Bosch intentionally conspired with VW, which is a claim Bosch says is "wild and unfounded."

    keep reading article "Judge Approves VW 3.0-liter and Bosch Diesel Settlements"
  5. 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.

    keep reading article "Probation and Babysitters, How the Emissions Scheme Keeps Costing VW"
  6. 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.

    keep reading article "Volkswagen HQ Raided in Fraud Investigation"
  7. 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.

    keep reading article "VW Guilty Plea Waiting on Settlement Approval"
  8. 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.

    keep reading article "VW Releases 3.0L TDI Settlement Terms"
  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.

    keep reading article "VW's Compliance Chief is Leaving. So Soon?"
  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?

    keep reading article "Former VW CEO: I Don't Remember Anything"
  11. Volkswagen has plead guilty and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties for their part in selling "clean diesels" that were actually quite dirty.

    VW will be on probation and will be watched by an independent monitor for three years.

    VW is charged with participating in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and VW customers and for violations of the Clean Air Act by lying and misleading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. customers about the emissions systems. Volkswagen admits it spent years using sophisticated and illegal software to conceal nitrogen oxide emissions that are up to 40 times higher than allowed by law.

    In addition, six VW executives have been indicted by a federal grand jury and may soon join their buddy behind bars.

    keep reading article "VW Pleads Guilty in Diesel Case"
  12. Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt was visiting Florida, so the feds decided to pay him a visit.

    They even brought him a shiny pair of bracelets as a gift. Schmidt, 48, is a resident of Germany but was in Florida when the feds arrested and charged him with conspiracy, wire fraud and violations of the U.S. Clean Air Act.

    Mr. Schmidt is the second VW employee to be arrested for their role in the diesel emissions cheat and coverup.

    keep reading article "VW Executive Arrested in Florida"
  13. There's been a lot of talk about diesel buyouts and fixes lately.

    But one group that's been left out was what VW calls "Generation 3" diesel vehicles from the 2015 model year. But after 16 months of waiting, that's about to change:

    "Volkswagen finally received approval to fix certain 2-liter diesel vehicles to make their emissions systems legal, at least for about 67,000 of the 475,000 illegal 2-liter "clean diesel" vehicles."

    VW will remove the "defeat device" software and replace it with something a lot less cheat-y. Then sometime next year, VW will install new software in addition to a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst and a nitrogen oxide catalyst.

    keep reading article "Fix for 2015 2-Liter Diesels Approved"
  14. VW's diesel buyback program had some vague language about what condition the car had to be in to stay eligible.

    Basically, it had to be "operable." Does it run? Does it roll? Then you're good to go.

    So disgruntled owners started stripping off parts and selling them online before sending their cars in. And it worked ... for a while.

    According to CarComplaints.com, a judge is saying you jetta stop doing that:

    "U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer has [said] owners should think twice about altering their vehicles if they want VW to pay for the cars.

    OK, Judge Breyer didn't use the Jetta pun and it's such a wasted opportunity. The pins were setup, he just had to knock them down.

    keep reading article "Judge to VW Owners: You Jetta Not Do That"
  15. Volkswagen has agreed on a settlement for about 83,000 3-liter, V6 TDI owners in the United States.

    Under the proposed 3-liter diesel agreement, Volkswagen will be allowed to recall more than 75 percent of the illegal vehicles to fix them and bring them into compliance with emissions laws. The settlement agreement could mean another $1 billion loss for VW, adding to the $15 billion to be paid for illegal 2-liter vehicles.

    That means about 63,000 vehicles will be repaired and 20,000 will be bought back. As for what that fix will be? VW says ¯\–(ツ)_/¯

    keep reading article "Volkswagen 3-Liter Diesel Settlement Information"
  16. Our neighbors to the north tend to be a patient bunch, but you have to imagine Canadian VW diesel owners were starting to wonder when their settlement offer would come.

    Well, good news. Canadian owners will receive between $5,100 and $8,000 in compensation along with a few options. Any eligible owner can choose to trade their vehicle and apply its fair market value at that time towards the purchase of a new or used Volkswagen or Audi vehicle.

    Spread out over 105,000 vehicles, that equals about $2.1 billion CAD (Canadian dollars). The settlement needs to be approved and finalized by two courts.

    keep reading article "Oh, Canada! A VW Diesel Settlement Update"
  17. We all know Volkswagen is in plenty of hot water for their diesel emissions. Well, the FTC is turning up the heat.

    In its motion filed in a federal district court in San Francisco, the FTC says it saw red flags when 23 phones of important Volkswagen employees were determined to be lost or unable to be turned on. Federal investigators want to know what was on those 23 cell phones that relates to VW's admitted emissions cheating that was concealed by the automaker for years.

    If VW executives need some new cells, I hear there's plenty available inside federal prison.

    keep reading article "VW Employee Cell Phones Missing?"
  18. It's been well over a month since Volkswagen's historic $14.7 billon dollar diesel settlement which includes the option for owners to sell their cheatin' cars back to VW.

    So how are things going? Meh, according to a firm appointed by the court to monitor the settlement's progress.

    Many owners have complained about long telephone hold times and missed deadlines. Some, in snowier climates, are ticked off they had to pay to put on snow tires while waiting for VW to get its act together.

    Yes, this is an unprecedented deal. And sure, there's a lot of moving parts. But as Jalopnik.com points out, it's not like VW couldn't see this coming.

    You can review the settlement details on our site.

    And if you haven't yet, I'd also encourage you to visit VWcourtsettlement.com or call 1-844-98-CLAIM to schedule appointments with claim specialists.

    keep reading article "What is Going on with the VW Diesel Settlement?"
  19. A German newspaper says Volkswagen has been cheating again. This time using unapproved software on its 3-liter diesels. Oh, wunderbar.

    The programs are allegedly used to shut off nitrogen oxide emissions controls after 22 minutes, about two minutes longer than the 20 minutes it takes to perform a typical emissions test. If true, emissions regulators would see normal emissions levels on test machines, then after about 22 minutes the emissions levels will shoot up.

    The newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, doesn't say how they got their information but did say the software was discovered on Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg vehicles equipped with turbocharged direct injection (TDI) 3-liter engines.

    keep reading article "VW Caught Cheating Again?"
  20. Hey emission-wagön owners, VW has setup a special website just for you.

    Volkswagen says owners will eventually be able to learn more about the settlement terms and determine how much compensation is available by visiting VWCourtSettlement.com.

    "Owners can always opt out of the settlement if they want to hire an attorney and tackle Volkswagen in court. As part of the preliminary settlement, owners will receive official notifications concerning their rights and available options, but the final settlement approval won't occur until October 18, 2016."

    The whole thing is rather complex. There are a good amount of details available now, but those could change up until the final settlement. VW promised to have the final calculations automated on VWCourtSettlement.com by the end of the month.

    keep reading article "There's Finally A Website for Diesel Settlement Details"