Germany: carmakers give back their ADAC awards image

Everybody thinks Germans are among the most serious and proficient people in the world and corruption is a word with no equivalent in their language. Well, it turns out they’re still humans – as the ADAC vote rigging scandal revealed.

You might remember that last month news broke out about the German automotive club ADAC’s “Yellow Angel” award vote manipulation by internal officials. Now, the once highly sought award – of little international relevance, but highly praised locally – has been externally audited and the results revealed it was indeed rigged.

After this official result, the recipients of the awards, Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW, have decided to return them – Deloitte was tasked to uncover the truth after allegations broke out last month that ADAC’s Motorwelt magazine (mainly its Chief Editor) had massively inflated reader vote numbers for the award to gain additional relevance.

“Awards by the public are of great importance to Daimler, since these reflect the public opinion. A prerequisite for this is that readership votes are conducted in a correct manner. This was not the case with the Yellow Angel,” Daimler said.

After the investigation’s conclusion was made public, ADAC’s president Peter Meyer immediately resigned – after he had previously said no less than 34,299 motorists placed the popular VW Golf as No.1 on their preference list.

After careful examination of computer data and interviews with ADAC employees, Deloitte found evidence of “willful manipulation”: the order of the four cars below VW’s Golf was changed and the number of votes for each car was actually very low. The Golf won with 3,271 votes; followed by the BMW 3 series with 1,703 (ADAC placed as No.2 the Audi A3) and the Audi A3 with 1,664 votes (ADAC placed in its place the Mercedes A Class).

Via Automotive News Europe