Have any lawsuits against Volkswagen been filed over the company’s ‘clean diesel’ engines?

by Eric Pearson

Last week, Volkswagen admitted that the company’s diesel-powered vehicles used software that was designed to hide the cars’ high pollution levels during emissions testing. After researchers discovered that Volkswagen’s so-called “clean diesel” engines emitted levels of nitrogen oxide that were 40 times the level allowed by U.S. environmental laws, the German-automaker was forced to admit under pressure from the EPA that the discrepancy between real world and laboratory pollution measurements was part of a fraudulent effort to conceal the poor performance of its diesel engines.

Many consumers who purchased Volkswagen diesel-powered vehicles—including Golf, Passat, Jetta, Beetle, and some Audi models—chose those vehicles because they seemed to offer a unique combination of driving performance, environmental friendliness and high gas mileage.  In the wake of Volkswagen’s admission that its diesel engines create significantly higher levels of pollution than those allowed under federal law, many drivers who purchased the company’s “clean diesel” vehicles are wondering whether they may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company over its efforts to mislead the public about the environmental friendliness of its vehicles.  They are also concerned that the possible “fix” for the emissions problem will result in a loss of performance and a decrease in gas mileage.

In less than a week since Volkswagen announced that it would recall diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S., the company has been hit with class action lawsuits filed in Florida, Oregon, Illinois, Utah, Washington, and California. These lawsuits, filed on behalf of plaintiffs in dozens of states, allege that drivers who purchased Volkswagen diesel vehicles paid between $1,000 and $7,000 more for “clean diesel” vehicles that they thought offered a unique combination of driving performance, good gas mileage and environmental friendliness. Attorneys for the plaintiffs in these cases say that Volkswagen’s effort to hide the high pollution levels of its diesel-powered automobiles was a deliberate act of fraud perpetrated on consumers as well as the federal government.

Drivers who purchased Volkswagen vehicles equipped with a diesel-powered engine may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company or join one of the existing class action litigations. The affected cars are 2009 to 2015 diesel-powered versions of Volkswagen’s  Volkswagen’s Golf, Passat, Jetta, and Beetle cars, as well as the diesel version of the Audi A3.

Volkswagen has announced that it will develop a plan to fix the emissions problem with its diesel vehicles in order to comply with federal pollution requirements under the Clean Air Act. However, these repairs will more than likely affect the performance of the 500,000 vehicles involved in the recall, making them far less enjoyable to drive than the vehicles drivers may have thought they were purchasing.

Get Help With Your Class Action Lawsuit

If you own one of the Volkswagen diesel cars involved in the recent recall, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit or join a class action case against the company. The first step in taking legal action is to secure the services of an attorney with the knowledge and experience in handling class action and product liability litigation to help guide you through the process of filing a case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed class action lawsuits across the country involving defective products and other negligent corporate conduct. Our lawyers have taken on some of the largest corporation in the world on behalf of our clients, including multinational pharmaceutical companies and some of the world’s largest automakers. We believe that everyone who has been the victim of wrongful corporate actions should be entitled to effective legal representation to ensure that their legal rights our fully protected.

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented plaintiffs in various class actions or multi-district litigation cases across the country. Our attorneys are trial attorneys in the truest sense of the term, having tried hundreds of cases to verdict and settled hundreds more. Our attorneys have achieved verdicts and settlements for our clients totaling more than $200 million.

If you purchased a 2009-2015 Volkswagen or Audi vehicle equipped with a diesel-powered engine, you may be eligible to take legal action. For a free legal consultation about your case and to learn more about whether you qualify to file a lawsuit, contact the law offices of Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few short questions about your case to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.