Dozens of dirty diesels disappear from derelict Silverdome

The Pontiac Silverdome, home to Super Bowl XVI in 1982 and the Detroit Lions until 2001, sits abandoned and waiting for demolition in Detroit’s northern suburbs. The inflatable roof long ago collapsed and was last seen in complete tatters. A couple of years ago, someone made a video that went viral of a BMX bike rider performing stunts inside the derelict dome. More recently, the oceanic parking lot that surrounds it mysteriously and perhaps illegally became a storage yard for recalledVolkswagendiesel cars that violated emissions regulations.

Now, up to 60 of them — VWs and Audis alike — have been reported stolen, shipped to other states and given bogus titles.

“They were given fake titles, Michigan titles, and that’s how they were transported out of state,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin told the Detroit Free Press for a story Tuesday. “And that’s how they were being sold, they had bogus titles on them.”

Volkswagen Group in 2015 acknowledged it had installed software for years on diesel vehicles to cheat emissions-testing equipment, triggering a scandal that cost VW’s former CEO his job and landed a Detroit-area engineer in prison. Volkswagen was forced to offer billions in compensation to U.S. customers but has resisted compensating owners of the 8.5 million affected vehicles in Europe. VW has also signaled its intention to shift toward more electric vehicles.

Goodin told the Freep that police in Michigan and Kentucky notified authorities in Indiana about the investigation, and that some of the vehicles could be in southern Indiana. Police in Indiana have recovered about 22 vehicles so far, he said.

The moral of our story is, if you live in Michigan, Indiana or Kentucky and are thinking of buying a used VW or Audi diesel, buyer beware. And also, can we please just demolish the ‘Dome?

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