German Auto Giants, Once Courted, Become Political Pariahs

BERLIN—After decades of cozying up to car makers, German politicians are turning their backs on a scandal-ridden industry many voters now see as an embarrassment rather than a source of national pride.

In the first public speech of her campaign to win a fourth term in next month’s election, Chancellor Angela Merkel lambasted the country’s leading auto makers and their top management earlier this month for their response to a now…