A high-level executive has resigned and Volkswagen is considering giving back its trophy now that vote-rigging has been discovered in a prestigious annual German car award. Finally there's proof that annual car awards are bullshit.
The current drama is that Germany's trusted ADAC (something like their AAA, only more popular and political) faked their annual "Yellow Angel" award for the favorite car in the country. The award went to the VW Golf, but only because ADAC rigged the vote.
Reuters reports that the ADAC recently admitted that they claimed 34,299 motorists voted for the Golf as their favorite car when really only 3,409 drivers voted for the VW family hatchback. The famed Süddeutsche Zeitung found that the ADAC inflated its numbers of how many people voted in its surveys by orders of magnitude in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
The ADAC is a very trusted and well-established institution in Germany, and this scandal has brought all of their safety and reliability rankings into question. At least, that's how University of Duisburg-Essen's Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer told Reuters.
The car breakdown statistics and tunnel safety reports need to be re-examined. If there are lies told about the 'Yellow Angel', other areas can't be ruled out.
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The man in charge of this vote, ADAC communications director and editor of the popular magazine "ADAC Motorwelt" Michael Ramstetter, resigned over the controversy. Volkswagen is waiting for things to die down before they make a decision to give up the award or not.
I (and Jalopnik as an institution) have long maintained that year-end car awards are complete bullcrap. In the US, the people who sit on their review boards are hacks who once put a Mini Countryman in the running for best truck. If even the world's most trusted autojournos, the straightlaced Germans of the ADAC, are frauds, I don't see why anyone can trust any year-end award farce.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen/ADAC via Autoblog Germany