What's at stake for Volkswagen


Stocks have dropped since Sept. 18, 2015 when the EPA accused VW of software that deceives regulators measuring emissions in diesel cars.

Voting rights distribution, as of Dec. 31, 2015

Outside investors have little influence over the company's direction with most of the voting bloc controlled by Porsche, Lower Saxony and Qatar.

Vehicles affected, as of Dec. 31, 2015*

With many of its brands affected by the affair, including the Audi luxury division, VW has struggled to rebuild its reputation.


*1.2L, 1.6L, 2.0L and 3.0L TDI

What we know about the 2015 scandal

Switch software

Software in the car’s electronic control module (ECM) determines where the car is being driven (i.e. highway, road, testing) by analysing a series of factors.


Being tested

Mode switches to “dyno calibration,” as software recognises vehicle is taking emission test.


EPA compliant emission levels produced.

Normal operation

Mode switches to “road calibration,” as software recognises vehicle is in normal operation.


Effectiveness of emission control system reduced, increasing Nitrogen oxide levels to 10 to 40 times above standards.

What we know about recent Audi developments

Switch software

Germany's Bild am Sonntag reported on Nov. 6 that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had this summer discovered cheating software in an older Audi model, which is unrelated to the device that triggered last year's diesel emissions test-cheating scandal at parent VW

Position of steering

The software in CARB’s discovery is said to have allowed Porsche to detect whether a steering wheel was turned. Regulators are now probing whether this software was used by Audi to detect whether a vehicle was being subjected to emissions testing, and to lower a car’s carbon dioxide output, Bild said.

Who are the key players in the VW affair

Arrests related to VW's emissions curbing

Sources: Thomson Reuters Datastream (share price); Volkswagen (shareholder struture and cars affected); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2015 sofware scandal)
By Gustavo Cabrera, Michael Ovaska and Jessica Wang | REUTERS GRAPHICS