In a January ruling marking a turning point in German transport policy, an administrative court in Wiesbaden ordered the regional government of Hesse to clean up diesel exhaust fumes by September or face a fine. Following the deepening VW diesel emissions testing scandal, the ruling puts pressure on the entire German vehicle industry production of diesel cars — which has been central to their business model.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed on September 18 that Volkswagen (VW) diesel engines had been fitted with software enabling them to flout US engine emissions standards for nitrous oxides. That has precipitated a crisis in one of the vital structures of world capitalism. A perfect storm is emerging, jeopardising the entire automotive/industrial/financial complex that propelled world capitalism from the end of World War II until recently.
In what could be a historic move for reparations, car manufacturer Volkswagen has opened dialogue with the Brazilian government to negotiate compensation for the German multinational’s support of Brazil’s 1964-’85 dictatorship. Volkswagen was among many private companies that backed Brazil’s military dictatorship financially and operationally. Corporate complicity was revealed by Brazil's Truth Commission that investigated dictatorship-era crimes against humanity.