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Car of the Year cheats: VW responds

2014-01-21 12:19

'INEXCUSABLE MISTAKE': ADAC communications chief Michael Ramstetter admitted to manipulation and has subsequently quit. Image: AFP

BERLIN, Germany -  In January 2014, Wheels24 reported that Europe's largest and most influential car club, ADAC, cheated on its annual car awards which, it claimed, was won by Volkswagen's Golf 7.

Volkswagen said it won't use the ranking of its Golf model as Germany's favorite car in its advertising, after it came to light the country's top automobile club manipulated figures in its Car of the Year poll.

ADAC, which boasts 18 million members in Germany, admitted that it had inflated the number of participants in its poll, though claimed the manipulation had not changed the fact that the Golf was the winner.


VW spokesman Stephan Gruehsem told Germany's Bild that the automaker would not use the ADAC's award in its advertising and called for a "complete investigation" of the situation.

ADAC communications chief and editor of the club's popular ADAC Motorwelt magazine, Michael Ramstetter, admitted to manipulation and resigned.

ADAC managing director Karl Obermair said: "We've got our work cut out to repair our tarnished reputation, Ramstetter's actions were an inexcusable mistake. We're very sorry. This strikes at the very core of our existence. Our goal is to restore our credibility."

The club admitted that Ramstetter hugely inflated the results of votes, claiming 34 299 people had voted for the Golf as Germany's favourite car. The true figure was 3409.


Wheels24 asked our readers which car they'd like to see claim the 2014 South African Car of the Year title and, at the time of publishing, our homepage voting booth has garnered 12 890 votes.

Volvo's V40 has a commanding lead with 3995, followed by Lexus' IS 350 (2140) and VW's Golf 7 (1697) in second and third place respectively.

Read more on:    volkswagen  |  germany  |  golf  |  scandal  |  news  |  car of the year  |  poll

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