Volkswagen Internal Audit Focuses on Engineers as Lawsuits Mount over Emissions Scandal

he engines were set to be a revolutionary breakthrough, used not just for Volkswagen models, but also for the company’s premium brand Audi, and less costly offshoots Skoda and Seat, along with some light commercial vehicles. Although specifics remain sketchy, it appears that management from the engineering team instructed the use of the software, under pressure to market the “clean diesel” breakthrough. The internal audit discovered that engineers realized that the vehicles would not, at the very least, meet U.S. diesel emissions standards, which are more stringent than in Europe.


How will Gap between UAW Workers and Fiat-Chrysler be Bridged?

Although the UAW is currently regrouping its efforts, there is a real possibility that FCA employees will strike, the first in decades. Following Thursday’s announcement, union leaders met with 300 UAW shop representatives throughout the night, yielding discussions, but no tangible solution to the impasse. Williams hinted that a return to the bargaining table in the near future could be possible, saying in a statement that the union will “gather the issues; notify FCA that further discussions are needed.” Williams added, “We don’t consider this a setback; we consider the membership vote a part of the process we respect.”


Seven More Automakers Questioned about Takata Airbag Recall

The companies include: Volkswagen, Tesla, Daimler’s Mercedes Benz division, Jaguar-Land Rover, Suzuki, Volvo Trucks, and Spartan Motors. Depending on the regulator’s findings, the manufacturers could add to the 11 companies and over 19.2 million vehicles within the U.S. implicated in the recall. Specifically, the NHTSA is asking the automakers whether or not their airbags contain ammonium nitrate, the propellant that can “potentially lead to overaggressive combustion or potentially cause the inflator to rupture,” spraying shrapnel into the driver’s cabin; which has been attributed to at least eight deaths and over 100 injuries.


Ralph Nader’s Tort Law Museum Opens in Connecticut

Nader is hoping that the museum will help to serve future generations in understanding the power of the consumer, the threats of the protections being removed as part of the conservative tort-reform agenda, which is an attempt to put caps on personal injury lawsuit awards. Nader said, “Tort law is being run into the ground, maligned, caricatured and slandered because it’s effective,” calling tort reform, “the cruelest movement I’ve ever encountered.”


Are Criminal Charges against Volkswagen Imminent?

Clarence Ditlow, executive director for the Center for Auto Safety said,”The damage to Volkswagen is going to last for years. This was so clearly a deliberate act by executives at Volkswagen that there needs to be criminal penalties.”


George Zimmer is now a Marijuana Activist

Zimmer took time to lend support to the marijuana legalization movement as the keynote speaker in Los Angeles at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo on Friday. In his speech, Zimmer called the placement of marijuana on the Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, equating it to drugs like heroin and ecstasy, “the biggest con that has been perpetrated on this country in the last century.”


Oakland Sues Wells Fargo for Lending Discrimination

The city is blaming Wells Fargo for the loss of millions of dollars of potential tax revenue, leading to budgetary limits for services like parks, policing, and libraries. City attorney Barbara Parker said in a statement after the filing, “Wells Fargo’s discriminatory conduct devastated individuals and communities, increasing poverty and wiping out or drastically reducing wealth for minority communities while bankers prospered.”


Peanut Exec gets Record 28 Year Sentence for Deadly Food Poisoning Outbreak

Parnell was convicted on multiple charges including knowingly shipping peanut products that were tainted with salmonella to merchants throughout the country. An ensuing outbreak between 2008 and 2009 in 46 states contributed to over 700 illnesses and at least nine deaths. Judge Sands also sentenced Parnell’s brother, 56 year-old Michael Parnell, a peanut broker, to 20 years and the plant’s quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson to five years. Stewart Parnell’s 28 year sentence is the longest ever given for a food poisoning-related offense.


Volkswagen Emissions Fallout Begins: and it’s Really, Really Bad

Tangible damage has already begun on a grand scale for the company since the announcement, as its stock has plunged over 35 percent by midday trading on Tuesday, including closing down 18 percent on Monday, already dropping the company’s value by nearly $17 billion even before Tuesday’s announcement. The scandal and costs associated with EPA-ordered recall will likely cost the company at least that much factoring in federal penalties from the U.S. as well as in other nations. In addition, the amount of civil liability and class-action lawsuits could also range in the billions.


FBI Launches Investigation into 1MDB Malaysia State Development Fund

Najib and Malaysian authorities have undergone exhaustive means to curtail the domestic investigation into allegations that the prime minister funneled money from the fund into his personal account through Swiss banks and the Middle East. The regime gutted the committee appointed to investigate the allegations, shut down a news source, replaced the deputy prime minister and attorney general, and arrested former members of Najib’s political party, including Khairuddin Abu Hassan as he was preparing to travel to the U.S. to urge investigators to help with the probe.