It Gets Worse and Worse: VW Ripped Off US Taxpayers

The bad news is coming so hard and so fast for VW that you can hardly take a bathroom break without missing another scandal or swindle. This latest bit of news comes from LA Times reporter Jerry Hirsch, who did some math and found that the 39,500 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen TDi models sold in 2009 were eligible for a $1300 “green car” tax credit — which means that VW could be liable for more than $51 million in tax credits and subsidies.

“It [the ongoing scandal at VW] is really unfortunate,” said Luke Tonachel, director of clean vehicles and fuels project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The government has been effective to help advance clean technologies, but [green car subsidies are] a waste of taxpayer dollars when they aren’t actually helping to clean the environment.”

Tonachel is calling for government regulators to factor the $51 million in misappropriated green car tax credits when deciding how much of the potential $18 billion in EPA fines VW will eventually have to pay (and that’s not even counting any international fines levied against the 11 million VW diesels found to be cheating on their emissions tests). My guess, however, is that Tonachel needn’t worry about that, as the IRS has a long and storied history of getting its man.

Just Ask This Guy About the IRS


That’s Al Capone. If you’ve ever seen The Untouchables or lived in the city of Chicago, you know all about Capone’s run-in with the IRS and how it turned out for him. If you haven’t, well — let’s just say VW is going to have a very, very bad time.

Source | Images: LA Times, via Jalopnik.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.