Traffic Report: Das scandal claims VW’s CEO

Photo credit: Raindrops are seen on the badge of a diesel Volkswagen Passat in central London, Britain September 22, 2015.  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

This is far from that charming TV ad with the kid in the Darth Vader outfit that touts Volkswagen as a family-friendly brand.

This week, the German automobile manufacturer’s CEO, Martin Winterkon, resigned in the wake of an emissions-rigging scandal that may cost the company up to $18 billion in environmental fines.

Over the weekend, it was revealed that Volkswagen had installed manipulative software in 11 million vehicles that aimed to pass emission tests with flying colors, but perform very differently on the road.

Mind-boggling, isn’t it?

The CEO said he had nothing to do with the emission software, but wanted to resign nevertheless to protect the company’s best interests.

Winterkon was the highest-paid CEO in Germany last year, receiving a whopping 15 million euros ($23 million). His contract, however, expired at the end of the month anyway, even before the scandal broke out.

Volkswagen intends to spend $10 million to fix the faulty software, a figure that is far too small compared to what it might have to pay in fines and class action damages. Das auto?

Uber protesters go shirtless in Edmonton

While we are speaking German, Uber is still on the radar.

A number of cab drivers crashed Edmonton City Hall this week in response to the city’s proposed amendments in favour of the ride-booking company.

The protest was not a quiet one. Shirts came off in a symbolic move to say Edmonton was taking the shirts off cab drivers’ backs by taking away their livelihood. The police were called and city councilors were taken to a backroom as the frustrated cabbies sang disgruntled chants.

Edmonton has proposed amendments to its bylaws that if approved will allow Uber to legally operate in the city. The amendments will be voted on in November. If approved, Uber will be required to obtain a license and may have to self-regulate by performing criminal record checks on its drivers.

Calgary takes electronic fare system to court

Another Alberta municipality is having its own troubles. Calgary is suing its electronic fare system provider.

The city instituted an electronic fare payment system — Connect Card — where transit users could scan a prepaid card to use transit as opposed to making payments in other forms.

The Connect system did not function properly, which led to much frustration among transit users. Calgary gave the company that operated the fare system — Schneider Electric — a second chance to fix the problem, but it continued to malfunction. In June, the city decided it was going to ditch it altogether.

Now Calgary’s transit director is suing Schneider Electric for $5 million in a lawsuit that is in the works.

Let’s hope the city gets some of its ill-spent taxpayer money back.

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