There's controversy in the ranks of Germany's Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (more commonly known as ADAC). The group's annual car of the year contest has come under fire after accusations of vote-rigging.
ADAC has admitted that the number of votes for the Volkswagen Golf had been inflated, from 3,409 to 34,299, by the club's communications chief, Michael Ramstetter, who has since resigned from both his position in ADAC and as editor of the ADAC-owned magazine, Motorwelt. The Golf had been named the winner of the club's prestigious Yellow Angel award, although ADAC has argued that the Golf's extra votes wouldn't have changed the overall rankings. That's now being brought into question.
When asked if the manipulated votes had affected the overall rankings for the award (how would 30,000 votes not affect the rankings in some way?) by Motorwelt, Peter Meyer, ADAC's embattled president, told the magazine, "I cannot answer this with certainty."
"Whether or not this is true should be determined by an examination that we have asked external inspectors to lead and carry out," Meyer told Motorwelt, according to Reuters. Volkswagen, meanwhile, is left in the awkward position of holding an illustrious award that it may have no claim to. It's waiting for the results of the investigation before figuring out what should be done, according to Reuters, although there's been no official statement.
With the scandal being actively investigated, the Yellow Angel award's days are almost certainly numbered, a realization reached by Meyer. "Does the Yellow Angel have a future? No, absolutely not. It has no future," Meyer told Automobilwoche.