Dear Volkswagen: This Was Your Biggest Mistake

Tyler Durden's picture

As we previously commented when it comes to justice, there are those companies that have been bailed out by the US Government, and then there is everyone else. Case in point, GM, which last Thursday was fined $900 million for covering up its faulty ignition switches that caused at least 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

The deal with GM was cut by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who said there’s no federal criminal penalty for knowingly putting a deadly product on the market. "It has been a challenging case, for the agencies, for the prosecutors and for me," Bharara said.

As a result, nobody was prosecuted by the US government. 

"I don’t understand how they can basically buy their way out of it," Margie Beskau, whose daughter Amy Rademaker was killed in an October 2006 crash, told the Times. "They knew what they were doing and they kept doing it."

"So much for the Justice Department’s new strong policy on individual prosecution,” University of Maryland Law Professor Rena Steinzor told Corporate Crime Reporter. “This settlement is shamefully weak. A GM engineer knew about the fatal defect even before the first car rolled off the line. He secretly changed the part in 2005 but left hundreds of thousands of cars on the road with the bad switch. GM lawyers conspired to delay the recall. Much harsher penalties and individual prosecutions are warranted. The deferred prosecution is a toothless way of approaching a very serious problem.”

* * *

And then there is Volkswagen, which earlier today took out a record charge of €6.5 billion, one which many think will be insufficient before all it set and done, following its own snafu involving manipulating emissions tests to make its cars appear "cleaner" than they were.

Yes, GM killed people, but Volkswagen killed the air!

While one can debate whose crime is greater, it is quite clear that the punitive damages so far are orders of magnitude apart.

Why? This is precisely what Volkswagen executives, many of whom will lose their jobs in the coming days, are scratching their heads over.

We would like to take this opportunity to explain to them "how it is done" in the US.




How does Volkswagen stack up?


To summarize Volkswagen's biggest mistake: it was not poisoning the environment, it wasn't even getting caught. It was this:


Source: OpenSecrets Volkswagen and GM

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Truther's picture

With green backed toilet paper.... Or isit Digital TP now days.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Why? This is precisely what Volkswagen executives, many of whom will
lose their jobs in the coming days, are scratching their heads over.


We would like to take this opportunity to explain to them "how it is done" in the US.


Great article, TD!

I love it that GM can out fascist zee Germans!

Reminds me of this...

How does fascism work in 2014 America?


PS:  For all those medical providers out there rushing to meet the federal government's bullshit ICD-10 deadline, by a mandated upgrade of your software, I salute you (by clicking the heels of my jackboots and raising my extended arm)!

Heil Vall Street!

Heil zee profitz mandated by zee legislation!

Heil zee quarterly "growth"!

Ignatius's picture

HH, going in I never imagined the shithole of corruption that I've discovered in my research.  Maybe if the American people just chipped in to keep these fucktard "Representatives" away from Washington.  We bribe them - first - with Carribean hotels, hookers and blow to stay out of DC and do nothing.  I think it would cost a lot less in the long run.

dontgoforit's picture

Protection rackets: pay or we'll break your axels.

TBT or not TBT's picture

VW plants in the USA arent all UAW.    GM is 100% UAW domestically.   UAW is part of the Democrat FSA mob.  It isnt just about the corporate contributions to campaigns.    The unionized employees and the thug union itself provides money  and  footsoldiers.  

DutchR's picture

I want to place a bet that in the USA some politician wil try to spin this like: "See the Germans still trying to kill us".


Greed that's all this was/is


johngaltfla's picture

Ze Germanz should have learned from GM; it's okay to kill your customers, it is not okay to increase carbon emissions by 0.0000136%.

Never One Roach's picture

"Americans are Exceptional."


Barry said so.

11b40's picture

I truly believe America would be better served by having a lottery for National political offices than the way we do it now.

535 randomly selected individuals would come together to accomplish positive things for the country, not positive things for their sponsors.  A special interest is by it's very definition AGAINST the general interests.  Why do we allow the bribery to continue at the expense of all of us?

Ignatius's picture

There have been systems where political offices were in rotation and citizens had to take a turn at public service.  I'm thinking the Ventians did this, but I'm too lazy to look it up.  A great system that is NEVER talked about nor been repeated, which says a lot.

Chupacabra-322's picture

Everything is Fascist, Faudulent & Ponzi. Remember that.

Mr. Bones's picture

The Athenian democracy worked this way.  There was a pretty solid British documentary about it.

r00t61's picture

Isn't it strange that they don't teach about random selection (sortition) in any history textbook I've ever seen?

GoinFawr's picture

Anarcho syndicalism

because strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of gov't

cheech_wizard's picture

Are you sure about that? Look at the shit we have now.

Standard Disclaimer: Long beheading swords...

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

and so Trump is perfect for a new game the 'Government Apprentice',

the Don will be flanked by experts to help interpret who is hired and who is fired.

Get real people representing real people. that was the idea all along. Much more entertaining that watch any other politican pooba.


slammin_dude's picture

With modern communication i don't see the need for "representatives" anyway....what is this 1820? and we still running on Telex?

booboo's picture

good point and it has been voiced before, I would rather be governed by 535 radomly selected individuals out of a phone book than this cabal of inbred fucktards.

Macon Richardson's picture

Carribean hotels? Hookers? Blow? They already have all these things and they still want to fuck with us. Keep them out of Washington? That's like keeping pigs out of mud. Good luck with that idea.

rbg81's picture

Unlike the GM ignition switch scandal, no one actually died from this.  Of course, you'll have the lunatic greenies saying that it contributed to Global Warming so it will actually kill us ALL.  

trader1's picture

"With green backed toilet paper.... Or isit Digital TP now days."

no, it's water and a towel nowAdays.


Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) corporatewhore Sep 22, 2015 9:56 AM

Parasites sucking blood.

Freddie's picture

This is all about Germany talking to Russia, the zio State Dept US Govt demanding Germany take 20 million invaders.

The Obola Admin did the same thing to France's Bank Paribas (BNP) when they were unloading Russia's US Treasury Bonds.

This is threat to all of Germany by the USA police state.  Toe the line, do what we say or else.

ASACJon's picture

Ding! Ding! Ding!

VW did not pay its allotment and worse yet, it may show inclinations to move beyond rulership from DC High Command.

The moment I heard this, I called major bravo sierra.  But moreover, I said that this must be related to VW being both outside of USA Inc direct control and lack of cash being kicked to politicians.

And of course the media will spin yards of yarn for months now to concoct an entirely made up narrative.  How, oh how, does the general mass of people just accept this theatre?

walküre's picture

Of course it's just that. But.... most Germans and most Europeans are completely aware that the US is fucked up asshole nation which takes a shit all over the planet and leaves everyone else to deal with their feeces.

Europe won't take the muslim hordes just so that U$RAEL can expand its territory. No fucking way.

The US and the Zionists are finished in Europe. Don't even bother showing up in Asia.

Back to your home turf yankee doodle!

Never One Roach's picture

"If you want to keep your GM deathtrap, you can keep your GM deathtrap."

Countrybunkererd's picture

I hate General Motors and all their crappy products (except the new vette and maybe a bit...the CTS-V) but i would still never buy one of them either.  This company needed to die decades ago.  I have relatives who work and some that retired from there as well and they swear by them (because of their FAT pensions paid for by us taxpayers) because they 1. need the resale value for when they sell their reduced cost purchase 2. never in their life tried another brand of car.

I wish, honestly, even above the suffering of the employees, that GM would die, into the dustbins of crappy products.  I bet EVERY GM owner shops at wal-mart frequently.  I would almost put a 20 eagle on it (if i...had...any of them...cough...glance toward lake) with a survey of 1000 GM owners, is that a big enough sample size statistically?  10K?

SethDealer's picture

I have Chevy Tahoe, runs great

greenskeeper carl's picture

I too drive a Chevy Tahoe. It's been paid off for 6 years, it's got 170k on it, runs great, drives great. I bought it used about a year before all the bailout nonsense. My parents have a suburban they bought new that has 300k on it. It's been a truly great vehicle and completely reliable.

Now, having said all that, I will NEVER buy another GM product. I refuse to support govt motors, they can suck my ass. I will be sticking with non American cars from here on out. All that bailout did was teach GM that they can make shit products and be a shit company and still survive based on taxpayer money getting handed to them in what essentially amounts to making the unions happy.

Also, we have a 2500 series Chevy pickup at work, I believe it's a 2012 that was purchased new, and it is a complete hunk of shit. Luckily every time it's broken it's been under warranty, but it left 4 of my coworkers stuck on the side of I95 in the middle of summer with smoke blowing out the AC vents with less than 10k on the odometer.

If any of y'all want to support govt motors, be my guest but just remember that by buying their products after the bailout, you are only encouraging more of the same kind of behaviors. Not just with GM, but with everyone else deemed 'too big to fail'

Osmium's picture

I have a Sautrn with 275k.  Does that count as a GM product?  Oh, and it would appear that I will never be able to buy another Saturn.

dontgoforit's picture

I test drove a 2016 'vette a couple weeks ago.  The entire cabin smelled of gasoline through the drive.  They have a no-cap gasoline tank that opens by your touch if you have the key on your person.  I believe fumes migrate from the tank, or the exhaust system into the cabin.  There's a knob you can use in the center console that allows you to make the baffles on the exhaust open or close to allow for more throaty sound or a quiet ride.  The smell in the cabin could be from using that knob, not sure - but it was so bad it made me sick and gave me a headache.  I told them about it and they just shrugged their shoulders.  I said as much as I love the way the car looks and handles, I wouldn't buy it because of that.

post turtle saver's picture

the new engine uses direct injection, which is much higher pressure in the fuel line... likely a leak under the manifold is what you were smelling, there's a TSB on that...

inhibi's picture

Every single contractor that I know, that has to rely on his vehicle daily to make money, has told me this:

never buy a GM.

They all own Toyotas. Every single one. Because for them, coming late to work is essentially losing a contract, and having a GM is like a ticking time bomb that could literally just stop working inexplicably.

DutchR's picture

New Toyota ad.

ISIS A-head on the curb

greenskeeper carl's picture

Thats not what I see, but only because most of them need diesels, which, unfortunately, means they are stuck with american made bailout machines. I would love to see a diesel powered tundra or nissan titan, as I know several people who would prefer not to buy a chevy or dodge, but need the power and tow capacity of a diesel. If one of those came out with a diesel pickup, it would fuckin destroy 'the big three' pretty quickly, since thats the one area of vehicles they have a monopoly on.

o r c k's picture

Love my '97 Corolla'.

emersonreturn's picture

i just bought a 97 lexus sc400 for 3000$.  it's in collector shape.  it's a dream to drive.  i had a 92 (same car different colour) for 11yrs.  sold it for 2000 to a's still going strong but needs body work. they made the same model for 10yrs so parts are easy to find @ the auto wrecker.  i can't imagine paying more than a 4000 for a vehicle.  i can't imagine buying a car that is built to corrode, clunk & die. 

GoinFawr's picture

haha reminds me of something that I witnessed  a couple of years ago at a small town card-lock fill station.

This Hicksville was all Chevy or GMC or Ford, or whichever the overwhelming number of cud-chawing overbites in the county had decided was "Shore 'nough Barlow grade", and to drive any truck other than that town's preferred maker was license to be tarred a big girls' blouse 'round them parts. But the owner of the card-lock was a rebel: he drove a Nissan Titan. And lord did he get the gears for it.

Anyway it was winter and a layer of ice had formed on his tarmac, so a big ol' double trailer super B land train's drive rubber had lost its grip and couldn't get up the small incline to leave.

I know the trailers were probably proper empty, and that it probably didn't matter what 4x4 provided the yank to get the super B going to where it could grip,  but I'll never forget the defiance/pride beaming from that station owner's face as he hauled that land train to the main road with his 'rice burner' while all the domestic pick-me-ups slowed on the adjacent hwy to watch with knit brows, willing him to fail and being sorely disappointed.

black dragon's picture

the suffering of gm employees does not even compare to the suffering of MANY more americans and the WORLD, due to the criminal banking policies that have to be propped up to keep GM jobs alive.   gm employess are not innocent.  dont ever shed a  tear for them.  they are more corporate stooges than good americans or people.   they chose there own selfish gain at the expense of integrity in the american econonmy.  the could be considered bought off corporate criminals.

Freddie's picture

I generally agree with you but...

It did not have to go that way.  The bankruptcy laws, though far from perfect, were there to solve thge GM crisis.  Everyone takes a bit of a haircut to save the company.

The UAW wanted a bailout and wanted to own GM.  So the UAW gets everything plus the company. F them.  I would never buy anything GM or Chrysler-FIAT.  Oh and why FIAT?  The family who married Angenelli's daughter is an American tribe member.  John Elkan

Born in New York City, John Elkann is the first son of Alain Elkann, a journalist and writer of French Jewish and Italian Jewish background, and his then wife Italian Margherita Agnelli.

ASACJon's picture

John Elkann seems to be a practicing Catholic based on his Wiki bio.

ebear's picture

Must be one of those secret Jews that Torquemada warned us about.

jmcwala's picture

You only need to read Consumer Reports yearly surveys of car owners to see the reliability of ALL cars.