Audi fined $925 million in Germany over diesel emissions

Audi neglected its oversight duties in selling cars with engines made by it and group partner Volkswagen that did not conform to legal limits on harmful emissions, prosecutors said. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2018
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Audi fined $925 million in Germany over diesel emissions

FRANKFURT, Germany: German authorities have fined luxury automaker Audi €800 million ($925 million) for selling cars with excessive diesel emissions.
Prosecutors in Munich said Tuesday that the fine was imposed because Audi neglected its oversight duties in selling cars with engines made by it and group partner Volkswagen that did not conform to legal limits on harmful emissions. The case covered some 4.9 million Audi cars sold in Europe, the US and elsewhere between 2004 and 20018.
In September 2015 parent company Volkswagen admitted rigging some 11 million diesel autos with software that enabled them to pass emissions tests even though emissions in real driving were much higher.
The prosecutors’ statement said the resolution of the case did not affect an investigation of individual Audi executives.


For Iranians, economic crisis looms larger than US tensions

Updated 4 min 56 sec ago
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For Iranians, economic crisis looms larger than US tensions

  • Iran’s 80 million people struggle to buy meat, medicine and other staples of daily life
  • Many pointed to the economy, not the possible outbreak of war

TEHRAN: Across Iran’s capital, the talk always seems to come back to how things may get worse.
Battered by US sanctions and its depreciating rial currency, Iran’s 80 million people struggle to buy meat, medicine and other staples of daily life.
Many pointed to the economy, not the possible outbreak of war, as Iran’s major concern. Iran’s rial currency traded at 32,000 to $1 at the time of the 2015 nuclear deal. Now it is at 148,000, and many have seen their life’s savings wiped out.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate is 12 percent. For youth it’s even worse, with a quarter of all young people unemployed, according to Iran’s statistic center.
“The economic situation is very bad, very bad. Unemployment is very high, and those who had jobs have lost theirs,” said Sadeghi, the housewife. “Young people can’t find good jobs, or get married, or become independent.”
Sores Maleki, a 62-year-old retired accountant, said talks with the US to loosen sanctions would help jumpstart Iran’s economy.
“We should go and talk to America with courage and strength. We are able to do that, others have done it,” Maleki said. “We can make concessions and win concessions. We have no other choice.”
But such negotiations will be difficult, said Reza Forghani, a 51-year-old civil servant. He said Iran needed to get the US to “sign a very firm contract that they can’t escape and have to honor.” Otherwise, Iran should drop out of the nuclear deal.
“When someone refuses to keep promises and commitments, you can tolerate it a couple of times, but then certainly you can’t remain committed forever. You will react,” Forghani said. “So I don’t think we should remain committed to the deal until the end.”
Yet for Iran’s youth, many of whom celebrated the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal in the streets, the situation now feels more akin to a funeral. Many openly discuss their options to obtain a visa — any visa — to get abroad.
“Young people have a lot of stress and the future is unknown,” said Hamedzadeh, the 20-year-old civil servant. “The future is so unknown that you can’t plan. The only thing they can do is to somehow leave Iran and build a life abroad.”