‘Backfire’ Documentary Focuses Lens On Volkswagen Diesel Scandal

Volkswagen Jetta TDI emissions test, Image: University of West Virginia

Oscar-nominated documentarian and businessman Steve Kalafer is again placing on his producer hat in his most current project, named “Backfire: The Volkswagen Fraud of the Century,” a documentary that aims to find the truth behind the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, reports Automotive News.

And he’s the excellent individual to do it: Kalafer is also a Volkswagen dealer.

Kalafer, very best known for “Sister Rose’s Passion,” a documentary about a nun’s efforts to fight anti-Semitism in the Catholic Church, and for “The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption,” which examined corruption and politics in New Jersey, will team up with his son, Jonathan, to make the film.

The film producer owns a 17-franchise group in New Jersey, one particular of them a Volkswagen store, so the project hits close to property for him. Nonetheless, he will remain behind the camera as he believes any on-camera involvement on his element will have a unfavorable impact on the film.

“I will not have a point of view,” he stated. “The participants will.”

The documentary will concentrate on other stakeholders, such as clients, dealers, regulators, and even former Volkswagen executives.

To date, Kalafer hasn’t launched a website for the film, and it is not listed as a existing project on IMDB. Nonetheless, we hope Kalafer is successful his project, if for no other cause than this a single line in the course of his interview with AN.

“When I came to Volkswagen [to discuss the film], they stated, “Why are you carrying out this?’ I said, “To tell the truth.’”

Atta boy.

[Image: University of West Virginia]

The Truth About Automobiles » Auto Critiques

Report: Honda Engineers Berated Takata Ahead of Scandal Erupted


Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reported that engineers at Honda demanded to know why Takata airbags had been injuring drivers and passengers during a 2009 meeting held 4 months ahead of investigators started their inquiry.

“Why does it explode? I want to know the truth,” an engineer identified as “Otaka” asked Takata’s CEO at the meeting, according to Bloomberg.

Minutes from a July 2009 meeting amongst Honda executives and Takata officials have been produced public as element of a lawsuit against the airbag maker.

Federal regulators Wednesday identified the ninth fatality linked to the defective airbags, which could burst so violently that they could spray metal shards into the passenger cabin. National Highway Visitors Security Administration officials mentioned the victim was a minor driving a 2001 Honda Accord close to Pittsburgh in July, according to USA Nowadays.

The teen was hospitalized and died a number of days soon after the crash, according to investigators.

Honda was Takata’s largest customer and owned 1.2 percent of the auto supplier when investigators began examining the defective airbags, according to Bloomberg.

In 2009, when the companies met outside Los Angeles, engineers at Honda accused Takata officials of becoming too slow to act and not treating the predicament seriously.

The documents were unsealed as portion of a Florida woman’s lawsuit against Takata and show that, as far back as 2005, engineers at Takata notified the company of falsified data and the company’s illegal practices.

According to the report, a Takata engineer named Bob Schubert wrote that the business was “prettying up” information about its airbags and that the firm was lying about testing: “It has come to my focus that the practice has gone beyond all affordable bounds and likely constitutes fraud,” he wrote in 2005, according to Bloomberg.

Honda, along with 11 other automakers, are recalling much more than 19 million vehicles — with far more than 23 million faulty inflators — in a single of the biggest recalls in history. NHTSA officials in November fined Takata far more than $ 70 million, which could rise to $ 200 million if the organization can’t fulfill its obligations.

The Truth About Automobiles » Vehicle Critiques

Supplier Bosch Under Investigation for Part in VW Cheating Scandal


Auto provide giant Bosch is being investigated for its component in the widespread emissions cheating scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen, Bloomberg reported (through Automotive News).

Prosecutors in Stuttgart say that they’ve contacted the firm, which supplied Volkswagen with engine handle modules that helped the automobiles illegally pass emissions tests, about their function in engineering the illegal devices.

A spokeswoman for Bosch mentioned it would comply with requests from authorities.

In September, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that Bosch may have warned Volkswagen in 2007 that the computer software it supplied would be illegal to use on the road. A firm spokesman stated that it supplied parts to Volkswagen, but was not accountable for how engineers at the automaker utilised these parts.

“In the wake of what was reported about the emissions case at Volkswagen, we concluded that somebody should have developed the software,” Claudia Krauth, a spokeswoman for prosecutors in Stuttgart, told Bloomberg. “It was clear which business came into question.”

Bosch is a worldwide auto parts supplier with components in millions of automobiles.

(Photo courtesy Flickr)

The Truth About Automobiles » Auto Evaluations

VW May Freeze Promotions, Expense Cut Next Golf Amid Scandal


German enterprise magazine Manager Magazin reported Saturday (via Reuters) that managerial promotions may be frozen starting next year as the organization appears to save income wherever it can amid the diesel scandal.

The company may also re-use as many parts possible when building the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf in order to cut charges.

Right after currently setting aside six.five billion euros to cover expenses related with the biggest scandal to hit the German automaker in over 50 years, it is nevertheless searching at an estimated final bill of 30 billion euros to cover the costs of fixing practically 11 million affected cars, lawsuits and other associated charges.

Operates council chief Bernd Osterloh doesn’t think the freeze on promotions will be place in spot, though expects other measures to be taken additional up the ladder.

“We anticipate to see other symbols first: for instance, clear statements on management’s stance on bonus payments. The motto demands to be to lead by instance,” Osterloh stated in a statement to Reuters.

If the rumored measures are place in spot, they will stick to a massive expense-cutting initiative that will slash R&ampD spending at the automaker.

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