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The Blue Oval -- and several other global automaking giants -- insisted this week that their cars comply with pollution laws, with no cheating necessary. So far, government regulators seem to agree.

Breathe a tentative sigh of relief, auto investors: It's possible that the cheating on emissions tests might not have been an industrywide thing after all.

The head of Ford's operations in Germany -- where it sells many diesel-powered cars -- said emphatically on Thursday that the Blue Oval was "not involved in any manipulation" of emissions tests.

Stocks of most automakers have been very volatile since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency charged Volkswagen on Sept. 18 with rigging its diesel-powered cars to cheat on tests that measure pollutants emitted in exhaust.

VW's shares lost a third of their value in the days that followed the allegations, and its CEO was forced to resign. Investors have worried that other automakers might be found to have cheated on testing intended to enforce increasingly tough environmental regulations around the world.

But so far at least, it looks like VW was an outlier -- and many of its peers are expressing their displeasure with its actions.

So far, there's no evidence against any automaker other than VW

Volkswagen is accused of selling 11 million vehicles equipped with software that cheated on emissions tests. The software turned on parts of the engine's emission-control hardware only when it detected that a test was under way. In normal driving, the cars' exhaust was much dirtier than allowed.

VW has essentially admitted to the EPA's allegations, and it has promised to repair the 11 million vehicles affected so that they comply with pollution rules. VW has set aside $7.3 billion to cover the costs of the scandal, but many analysts think the ultimate costs to the company will likely be higher.

The allegations against VW led many observers to ask: Were all of the automakers cheating on these tests? It's an open secret that many countries allow automakers to conduct emissions tests under optimized -- even unrealistic -- conditions. But out-and-out cheating like Volkswagen's appears not to have been happening.

Several other automakers, including both of VW's German rivals, have emphatically insisted that their cars comply with environmental regulations, without any cheating. So far, governments seem to agree: A spokesman for Germany's transport ministry said on Friday that it has no evidence that any automakers other than Volkswagen manipulated emissions tests.

If other automakers have been cheating, it's likely to be uncovered before long. The EPA is expanding its investigation to examine more than two dozen diesel-powered vehicles from other automakers for signs of cheating, the Financial Times reported. German regulators are expected to conduct similar tests on other diesel-powered vehicles sold in Europe.

But at least as of right now, there's no evidence against any automaker other than Volkswagen. And more and more of those automakers are coming out with statements condemning their giant German rival.

VW's rivals insist they weren't cheating, worry about consumer trust

Ford Germany chief Bernhard Mattes wasn't the only auto executive to push back on suggestions that cheating might be rampant in the auto industry. BMW has insisted repeatedly that its diesels comply with pollution laws under any driving conditions.

BMW product-development chief Klaus Froehlich said again on Thursday that a system of "continuous checks" would block any attempt to put such a system into production at BMW. "Manipulation does not happen with us. I can flatly rule that out," he said in remarks reported by Reuters.

Toyota doesn't sell diesels in the U.S., but the CEO of Toyota's North America operations, Jim Lentz, said that he is confident that the company's diesel-powered vehicles sold elsewhere don't have devices that defeat emissions controls. Lentz expressed concerns that consumers would "lose trust in the industry" in the wake of the VW scandal, the Detroit News reported.

Those concerns were echoed by Honda's chairman, Fumihiko Ike. "This one company's deeds have damaged trust in the auto industry," Ike said, according to a Bloomberg report. He said that his remarks reflected his personal views, not those of Honda -- but it was a significant statement.

Pressure is growing as VW scrambles to come up with a fix for the cars

VW will continue to face immense pressure in the coming week. It is scrambling to comply with a German government demand that it announce a recall plan within the next few days. New investigations are under way in France, Italy, Switzerland -- and California, which has strict state environmental laws.

It's unclear whether VW will ultimately have to face criminal charges. But it will get a taste of government wrath this week: VW U.S. chief Michael Horn is set to testify before Congress on Thursday.

Ford: We Didn't Cheat Like Volkswagen -- The Motley Fool
 

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Bah whatever ... VW is my hero now actually
 

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My buddy owns a VW dealership and doesn't seem very concerned at all. A stockholder sure should be though. What VW did is over the top crazy stuff - stupid, but took balls of steel.
 

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wife has a tdi sportwagen. in an ideal world they will buy the car back. she bought it for various reason, all of which can be read in whichever class action suit she joins. and now feels let down by vw. real world feels.
 

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VW are up for one of the biggest fines in history. ($15B?)

They have lost public trust and pissed a lot of people off. Their engines are now going to run like crap because they will loose power and torque to meet EPA regulations, instead of circumvent them.
 

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I had VAG diesel, granted it wasn't part of the scandal, but it was a great car. Would buy again.

Tdi owners should all just get aftermarket tunes anyways.
 

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VW are up for one of the biggest fines in history. ($15B?)

They have lost public trust and pissed a lot of people off. Their engines are now going to run like crap because they will loose power and torque to meet EPA regulations, instead of circumvent them.
I bet very few cars will take part in the recall. I don't hate the environment but I sure as hell wouldn't. Then again I'd have an aftermarket tune and this whole conversation would be pointless then anyways :)
 

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I bet very few cars will take part in the recall. I don't hate the environment but I sure as hell wouldn't. Then again I'd have an aftermarket tune and this whole conversation would be pointless then anyways :)
Dave-ROR,

You have identified the issue. The current TDI diesel owners IMHO love the mileage and love the performance and are not going to willing take their vehicles back to have the emissions corrected for worse mileage and worse performance. Now there will be a hand full that bought thier car because it was "clean diesel" and will suffer the poorer mileage and poorer performance to be "green".

These happy TDI diesel owners will have to be forced into the upgrades, which undoubtedly VWOA will pay for, either through fines or legal action. How will they be found ? - through license rnewal emission testing or tickets for not getting license renewal/emissions testing. What we have seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg; it will get a lot uglier before it gets better. And you are correct..the stock will probably drop more for VW before it starts to recover.

YMMV,

MidCow3



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Definitely a slow play on that one haha. You'd probably have to sit on them for ten years before you made a decent profit.
 
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