Bombshell news in the automotive world: Volkswagen has stopped selling diesel cars in the United States after researchers at a university discovered that VW programmed the cars to detect when they were being emissions-tested and run in a condition to minimize emissions only when in the test cycle. Outside of the test cycle the cars were programmed to produce maximum power and achieve maximum fuel economy at the expense of meeting emissions. In fact outside of the test cycle conditions the cars produce 10 to 40 times as much nitrogen oxides as they do under the test condition.
VW has deliberately flouted US emissions standards since 2008 at the very least, and could be fined $37,500 per car sold under the provisions of the Clean Air Act. They've sold about half a million diesel cars in the US since the beginning of the 2009 model year, meaning the potential fine is about eighteen billion dollars ...
As of this morning VW has also stopped selling diesel cars in Canada.
VW's stock price on the Frankfurt exchange fell over 18% today. Ouch.
Re. the VW diesel emissions boondoggle: VW owns Audi and Škoda, which have built a reported 2.1 and 1.2 million cars respectively with the fraudulent emissions testing programming. Not only did VW fib to the EPA in the US but they also programmed their cars to fake their way through European emissions testing. Oh-oh.
VW stock price on Wednesday the 16th: ~170€
VW stock price right now: ~99€
In two weeks VW's market cap has gone down 12.8 billion euros.