Hatz is being questioned over his involvement in the Dieselgate scandal
28 September 2017

A German investigative media group has reported that former Volkswagen Group engine development boss Wolfgang Hatz has been taken into custody for questioning on his involvement in VW’s diesel emission manipulation scandal.

The media group consists of the Süddeutscher Zeitung newspaper and German government-funded Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Westdeutscher Rundfunk broadcasters.

News of Hatz’s detention on Thursday follows confirmation from the public prosecutor’s office in Munich that it has arrested a VW employee following a search of various offices and houses by the German police.

Hatz’s rumoured arrest is seen as a turning point in the so-called Dieselgate scandal due to his close association with former VW Group chairman Martin Winterkorn.

Under Winterkorn’s leadership, Hatz was the head of engine development at Audi between 2001 and 2007 – a crucial stage in the development of software solutions to enable diesel engines to pass emissions standards in the US. In 2007, Hatz followed Winterkorn to VW, where he acted as engine boss for the entire group until 2011.

From 2011 to 2015, Hatz was a member of the board responsible for research and development at Porsche.

58-year-old Hatz is not the first former high ranking Volkswagen manager to be suspected of involvement in diesel emission test manipulation, but if the report published by the Süddeutscher Zeitung on Thursday holds true he is the first to be taken into custody in Germany. In July, the Munich public prosecutor office confirmed it had arrested 60-year-old Giovanni Pamio on possible involvement in the Dieselgate emission scandal. Pamio, an employee of Audi, was involved in the development of diesel engines. 

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Comments
15

jer

28 September 2017

Would be interesting to know if it was organised cheating or just an idea from the engineers. I'd think the later. They probably thought that it was just clever software manipulating the rules. Sorry but not with the hang em high sentiments. 

29 September 2017

ain't it? Deliberately looking for ways to cheat on emissions testing requires allocating resources, planning, evaluating, testing. software development, decision making. All involved broke the law in fact. Highest ranking manager bears overall responsibility. He is supposed to know. 

28 September 2017

FadyAdy is going to explode at this news. All orifaces going off at once.


28 September 2017

German Corporate Culture is such that no engineer could make a decision of this import which would affect VAG' entire power train  production without the approval or involvement of the board. So the idea that a group of "rogue" engineers thought this up one night and implemented it without telling the board is laughable. Given what has happened so far and what the press (not Autocar) have uncovered it seems more and more likely that the VAG board were informed that their diesel engines could not possibly comply with the US and EU emissions regimes and they told the engineers to find a solution. The articles on this subject in the Daily Telegraph, The Times and the US press strongly suggest this is the case.

28 September 2017

I am convinced that if VW were struggling to meet emissions, others must have been too. Hopefully they won't be made a scapegoat for a corrupt industry. You only have to see quoted MPG figures to see they are all on the fiddle.

Spanner

28 September 2017
Spanner wrote:

I am convinced that if VW were struggling to meet emissions, others must have been too. Hopefully they won't be made a scapegoat for a corrupt industry. You only have to see quoted MPG figures to see they are all on the fiddle.

Or the engineers didn’t have the expertise to make the engines meet the criteria -the VW PD engine pre common rail, pre emissions are some of the biggest smoke belchers compared to other manufacturers, or VW didn’t want to pay the money involved to make them meet emissions. 

 

 

29 September 2017
Jimbbobw1977 wrote:

Spanner wrote:

I am convinced that if VW were struggling to meet emissions, others must have been too. Hopefully they won't be made a scapegoat for a corrupt industry. You only have to see quoted MPG figures to see they are all on the fiddle.

Or the engineers didn’t have the expertise to make the engines meet the criteria -the VW PD engine pre common rail, pre emissions are some of the biggest smoke belchers compared to other manufacturers, or VW didn’t want to pay the money involved to make them meet emissions. 

 

 

No idea on models, I think PD was a few years ago and as you say older cars might be a bit crap. But most of the crappy diesels from 10 years ago were crap, that's why they are crappy. Point is they are almost certainly not alone and it is difficult to see how they could be. It's just a matter of time. 

Spanner

28 September 2017

VAG are not alone. Mercedes-Benz entered a “voluntary arrangement” with German prosecutors a couple of months ago. They also issued recalls for ALL diesels with EU5 and EU6 engines for “technical reasons”. Finally they withdrew the E350 diesels from sale in Europe and the UK. BMW have not been caught. Yet. The French have also been found out with Renault and PSA Diesel engines being investigated for cheating. Fiat/Chrysler have also been found out too. So it is best to read the papers and keep up. Diesels are dirty, noisy, smelly and dangerous to your health. Always were. Always will be. They should have been banned in the 1990s when government reports made all this clear. The World Health Organisation has also called for diesels to be banned even comparing the danger they pose to mustard gas! The sooner Diesel is consigned to the dustbin of history the better. Yes petrol is not ideal either but it is far less dangerous (diesel apologists also cite benzine (the smell you get when starting to fill your car) as being a carcinogen - true but unless you are in a confined space breathing it in for several hours there is no real risk) whereas diesel is dangerous all the time you are driving it. Channel 4’s programme on the diesel scam proved this with help from Manchester University. So people need to make a choice on diesel. It seems that are doing as the Daily Telegraph found out that diesel cars have dropped 25% in value on the used market in the first half of this year alone. Even JLR have had to introduce petrol variants of all their cars. Once T-charges are introduced it will be a matter of a year or two before diesel dies. 

28 September 2017
Slowly slowly catchy monkey!

29 September 2017
It's only right that those individuals who are responsible for cheating on the emissions testing, misleading the authorities, the public and encouraging the uptake of diesel powered vehicles for wholly inappropriate uses - like a 2 mile stop-start commute to work (where petrol/electric woukd have been cleaner) should be held to account BUT the demonisation of diesel as a fuel and the implication that anyone driving any sort of diesel vehicle is commiting some sort of heinous sin against society, needs to stop and the misinformation needs to be exposed for what it is - misleading.
It's true that older diesel cars/vans etc without DPFs do pose a health risk and those used in stop-start situations in urban environments are emitting the most however any Eu5 or especially Eu6 diesel, that meet the standard in the real world (which is where the fraud issue started) would be emitting a tiny amount of particulates and Nox AND providing the diesel car is used appropriately (longer journeys not short commutes) wouldn't pose a risk to public health.
Most drivers of older diesels simply cannot afford to buy a new car and I for one would be just as concerned at seeing vast numbers of people replacing their old diesel with an old petrol because, as a result of sensationalist comments and misinformation, they were lead to believe that ALL diesel cars (including Eu5/6) should be swept from our roads.

It's been suggested that the WHO had proposed banning diesel (originally reported in the Daily Mail): They didn't but back in 2012 the WHO re-classified diesel exhaust fumes as a carcinogen - this was based on evidence from a U.S study of miners, exposed to diesel fumes and the incidence of lung cancer in that cohort.

Using the WHO name and an old study of miners, as a basis for an argument in favour of banning diesel cars from our roads debases the argument and suggests that those who do will use any means, fair or foul, to promote their viewpoint.

The fact is that the study was back in 2012, based upon historic data that would have pre-dated 2012 and so I very much doubt that the diesel engines used in those mines had any kind of emission control and even if they did, would certainly not have been Eu5 or Eu6 compliant.

So, before everyone starts believing the negativity being spouted about the 'Demon Diesel' and the fraud that was certainly committed by numerous auto companies to sell their wares, let's separate the key issues, acknowledge that not all diesels are bad (especially when used in appropriate way) and make sure the general public aren't once-again misled by newspaper selling headlines and ill-informed hearsay.

In my opinion, anyone who engages in misleading the public, through the use of erroneous statements and misinformation, is just as guilty as those auto-industry execs.

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