It is highly likely that anyone would have anticipated Volkswagen to be at the centre of an emissions-related scandal – least of all the faithful VW drivers. Ever since the news broke on in the beginning of September, the interweb was flooded with articles and stories relating to the scandal.
The gadgets team has researched the events and dated back this story to compile a timeline. This is how it all unfolded.
May 2014 – Discrepancies are found during VW testing. Results indicate high levels of on-road emission, contradicting initial readings.
2014-2015 – Further testing is carried out. VW is contacted by The USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for explanation. No comments were issued.
December 2014 – VW willingly recalls TDI car in the midst of an impending investigation. US authorities remain unsatisfied.
3 Sept 2015 – VW is threatened with not having 2016 diesel models certified to meet emission standards. VW publicly acknowledges awareness of software designed to cheat emissions test.
18 Sept 2015 – EPA announces to recall 2009-15 cars with 2 litre TDI.
20 Sept 2015 – VW issues a public apology.
21 Sept 2015 – VW stock falls by 20% on first business day after scandal.
22 Sept 2015 – 6.5Bn Euro spent by VW due to scandal. Stock falls an additional 17%.
23 Sept 2015 – Martin Winterkorn, VW CEO resigns but denies any prior knowledge of manipulation of emissions results. By this date around 25 class-action law suits are filed in the US and Canada by Audi and VW owners based on fraud and breach of contract.
24 Sept 2015 – The UK’s Department of Transport begins re-testing cars from a variety of manufacturers.
25 Sept 2015 – Switzerland bans sales of VW diesel cars (the most severe action taken against the automotive company since the break of the scandal).
28 Sept 2015 – German authorities announce plans to press criminal charges again Winterkorn.
What do you guys think? Volkswagen clearly has a bumpy road ahead after betraying customer loyalty on such a scale. The question is, does the company have what it takes to turn things around, or has it burned its bridges?