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VW Reign As World’s Largest Automaker May Be Brief In The Wake of Diesel Cheating Scandal

The news that since 2009 VW has engaged in a complex and massive deception to evade EPA emissions standards on its critically acclaimed TDI diesel engine vehicles, is rocking the newly crowned “World’s Largest Automaker.”

In recent years vast recalls and major safety issues have plagued General Motors and Toyota, and the Takata exploding air-bag crisis has engulfed BMW, Nissan, Mercedes, Mazda, Honda, Subaru, Ford and others.

And while all these cases involved product defects that resulted in many deaths and injuries — usually exacerbated by clumsy company cover-up attempts – the calculated conspiracy at Volkswagen to mislead the regulators, the auto media and car buyers, is even more insidious and potentially devastating. Facing $18 billion in fines in the US alone, penalties in other countries and a criminal prosecution in Germany, the company is embattled.

Earlier this week VW CEO Michael Horn apologized to the motor press at a new model intro event and admitted that “VW has been dishonest” and that “We have totally screwed up.” No matter how heartfelt, neither these sentiments nor the immediate resignation of VW Chairman Martin Winterkorn, will do much to quell this firestorm.