After years of cover-up, Volkswagen has finally admitted and confessed that it has lied to hundreds of thousands of customers who purchased its cars. Volkswagen has admitted that, while representing to its customers (and the public at large as well as the federal and state governments) that its diesel vehicles were of excellent emissions standards and charging commensurate prices, it was in fact lying as its cars never came close to the emissions standards that Volkswagen represented and promised to its customers.
Volkswagen now admits that it intentionally installed a “defeat device” on over 11 million Volkswagen and Audi diesel-powered vehicles designed to fake low pollution levels during emissions testing. The EPA has also found that “defeat devices” were installed on thousands of VW, Audi, and Porsche light duty diesel vehicles. Defrauded owners are now stuck not only with decreased values of their cars but also with cars with emissions levels that are many times higher than allowed by EPA regulations, which means they may not comply with federal emissions standards.
Pure and simple – this is egregious fraud!
Car owners who purchased Volkswagen or Audi “TDI clean diesel” vehicles or light duty diesel models sold by VW, Audi, or Porsche may be eligible to file a lawsuit over the German automaker’s fraudulent misrepresentation of the performance and eco-friendliness of these vehicles. The vehicles involved in the recall over the Volkswagen emissions scandal include the following models:
- Audi A3 TDI, 2010-2015
- Volkswagen Beetle TDI, 2012-2015
- Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI, 2012-2015
- Volkswagen Golf TDI, 2010-2015
- Volkswagen Jetta TDI, 2009-2015
- Volkswagen Jetta Sportswagen TDI, 2009-2014
- Volkswagen Passat TDI, 2012-2015
The affected vehicles were equipped with “TDI clean diesel” engines coded as EA188 and EA288. Although Volkswagen marketed these cars as a unique combination of eco-friendly diesel technology and performance, investigations have revealed that the company’s so-called “clean diesel” technology was far from it, sacrificing environmental friendliness in order to achieve the performance standards that the company had marketed to consumers for higher profits.
In November 2015, the EPA revealed that its investigators had discovered additional diesel-powered models that were manufactured with an emissions “defeat device” by Volkswagen. These light duty diesel vehicles were equipped with a 3.0 liter engine, and included the following models:
- Volkswagen Touareg TDI, 2009-2016
- Audi A6 Quattro, 2014-2016
- Audi A7 Quattro, 2014-2016
- Audi A8 Quattro, 2014-2016
- Audi A8L Quattro, 2014-2016
- Audi Q5 Quattro, 2014-2016
- Audi Q7, 2009-2016
- Porsche Cayenne, 2013-2015
Volkswagen Caught Defrauding Customers
While it successful got away with it for years, Volkswagen has been caught red-handed committing fraud upon their customers and lying to governmental agencies around the world.
The emissions issue with Volkswagen’s diesel-powered cars was uncovered by researchers who noticed a discrepancy between the amounts of pollution emitted by these cars on the road versus the emissions levels in a controlled setting, such as when a vehicle undergoes state mandated emissions tests. Subsequent investigation revealed that the Volkswagen “clean diesel” models had been equipped with computer software that was designed to fool inspectors when the vehicles underwent emissions tests. The software was designed to adjust the emissions output of the vehicles so that they could pass these tests. In fact, the cars were spewing levels of the pollutant nitrous oxide that were 40 times higher than the maximum allowed by federal law under the Clean Air Act.
Volkswagen initially tried to deny that the discrepancy between the real-world and controlled-setting pollution levels for its TDI models was part of a deliberate act of deception on the company’s part. However, when the EPA threatened to withhold approval for Volkswagen’s 2016 TDI models unless the company explained the cause of the discrepancy, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed “defeat devices” on the vehicles in order to mask their high pollution levels from regulators and consumers.
Volkswagen’s dilemma in trying to correct its past fraudulent practices goes to the heart of the deception that caused the diesel engine issue in the first place. Many consumers who purchased diesel-powered Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche models did so because these vehicles provided eco-friendly technology in a car that offered greater performance and “drivability” than hybrid or electric cars such as the Toyota Prius or Nissan Leaf. In order to fix the pollution problems with the recalled diesel vehicles, Volkswagen may be forced to significantly lower the performance of these cars, eliminating the very appeal that caused thousands of U.S. drivers to buy them in the first place.
The Volkswagen fraud presents additional problems for owners. Some vehicle owners (especially those in California) may be unable to re-register their vehicles until they are brought within legal emissions limits. Other drivers who want to sell their Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche diesel cars may be unable to do so until Volkswagen develops a plan to fix the emissions problems with these vehicles.
VW, Audi Diesel Owners May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicle owners who purchased one of the diesel-powered vehicles involved in the recall may be eligible to file a lawsuit over Volkswagen’s efforts to fraudulently mislead regulators and consumers about the performance and fuel-efficiency of its “clean diesel” vehicles. Numerous individual and class action lawsuits have already been filed against the German automaker by U.S. car owners who feel they were misled about the product they were purchasing. The first step in taking legal action is to secure the services of a law firm with experience in handling product liability and commercial class action cases.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that when companies such as Volkswagen deliberately mislead consumers, it should be held accountable for their actions in a court of law. These huge, multinational corporations have a team of attorneys working for them in order to protect the company’s interests. We believe that consumers deserve the right to have legal representation that is just as effective, enabling them to stand up to these corporate behemoths and ensure that they receive what they are entitled to under the law.
The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have handled hundreds of lawsuits involving product liability, commercial litigation, class actions cases, and multidistrict litigation (MDLs) on behalf of our clients. Our law firm has achieved verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients against some of the biggest companies in the world totaling more than $400 million—including settlements of more than $50 million in 2010 alone.
If you purchased or leased a Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche diesel model, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about your legal options and find out whether you qualify to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation about your case, please call us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or follow the link to our free case evaluation form and answer a few short questions about your case in order to get started.