Were You Affected by the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal?
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Owners of certain Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi “clean diesel” vehicles were shocked to learn that the car maker had cheated emissions tests. By installing special software, the automaker was able to fool U.S. regulators into believing these vehicles met all emission requirements under the Clean Air Act. In addition to fooling regulators, Volkswagen fooled buyers into believing they were purchasing vehicles that would save them money in fuel costs while helping prevent pollution. Instead, buyers were paying more money for vehicles that were polluting the environment at a faster rate than “regular” vehicles without the “clean” technology.
Volkswagen Recalled Vehicles
- VW Beetle TDI (2012 – 2015)
- VW Beetle Convertible TDI (2012 – 2015)
- VW Golf TDI (2010 – 2015)
- VW Golf Sportswagen TDI (2015)
- VW Jetta TDI (2009 – 2015)
- VW Jetta Sportswagen TDI (2009 – 2014)
- VW Passat TDI (2012 – 2015)
- VW Volkswagen Touareg TDI (2009 – 2016)
Audi Recalled Vehicles
- Audi A3 Diesel (2010 – 2015)
- Audi A6 Quattro Diesel (2014 – 2016)
- Audi A7 Quattro Diesel (2014 – 2016)
- Audi A8 Quattro Diesel (2014 – 2016)
- Audi A8L Quattro Diesel (2014 – 2016)
- Audi Q5 Quattro Diesel (2014 – 2016)
- Audi Q7 Diesel (2009 – 2016)
Porsche Recalled Vehicle
- Porsche Cayenne Diesel (2013 – 2016)
You Paid More for a Lie
Owners of Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles equipped with the “defeat device” paid $1,000 to $7,000 more for their vehicle. Owners of these vehicles thought they were helping the environment and willingly paid extra for the falsely advertised fuel-saving, environmentally-friendly “Clean Diesel” vehicles. In addition to a higher purchase price, owners of the recalled vehicles also face damages including loss of resale value, increased maintenance costs, and higher fuel costs.
How Did Volkswagen Fool U.S. Regulators?
Volkswagen admitted that it installed special software that would deceive emission tests in laboratories. The affected vehicles had software that could detect whether the vehicle was being operated in a laboratory setting or on the open road. When the engine was operated in a laboratory setting, the engine would adjust the emissions to fit within the parameters being advertised by the carmaker. When the vehicle is operated on the open road, the illegal software adjusts the emissions to allow for up to 40 times the legal limit. Owners who believed there were saving the environment were actually doing far more harm than owners of other vehicles that did not have “clean” technology.
Volkswagen’s American CEO Michael Horn admitted, “We have totally screwed up.” Volkswagen’s global DEO Martin Winterkorn vowed to fix the problems after apologizing for the situation. The car manufacturer faces penalties and fines from the EPA and other regulatory agencies in addition to hundreds of lawsuits being filed by owners against the carmaker for damages resulting from the deceitful practice. For each affected vehicle, the automaker faces fines of up to $37,500 per vehicle for violating the Clean Air Act. With almost half a million affected vehicles in the United States, the fines could reach as much as $18 million. This does not count the expense of correcting the issue as required by the mandatory recall of affected vehicles.
Mandatory Recall Ordered by EPA of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche Diesel Vehicles
Upon discovery of the VW clean diesel deception, the EPA issued a mandatory recall of all affected Volkswagen vehicles. Unfortunately, the recall could result in less fuel efficiency, increased maintenance costs, and loss of resale value.
If you own or lease one of the following vehicles, you should contact our Volkswagen emissions fraud attorneys immediately to discuss the steps you should take to be entitled to compensation for damages. Our attorneys provide free case evaluations to determine if you are eligible to receive reimbursement from Volkswagen for your losses. Contact our office now to take advantage of this free legal consultation.
You can also check Volkswagen’s Recall/Service Campaign Lookup to determine if your particular vehicle is subject to a recall or service campaign. Enter your vehicle identification number and follow the directions provided on Volkswagen’s website.
Hundreds of individual and class action lawsuits have been file against Volkswagen across the country on behalf of owners who are accusing the automaker of violating state and federal laws, fraudulent concealment, and false advertising.
VW False Advertising Claims
Purchasers of the so-called “clean diesel” models trusted the advertisements by the German automaker that these vehicles were an efficient, environmentally conscious option for a diesel vehicle. Unfortunately, the claims by Volkswagen used in its advertising campaign were false. The vehicles did not help the environment as the carmaker claimed. In fact, these vehicles harmed the environment far more than standard vehicles on the road.
VW Fraudulent Concealment Allegations
Volkswagen is also accused of falsely concealing the fact that its diesel vehicles met or exceeded the EPA’s requirements under the Clean Air Act. Volkswagen has admitted that it added software that would “fool” regulators during emission tests. The engine can sense when the vehicle is being tested; therefore, it regulates emissions so that they are within the allowed legal limit. However, when the vehicle is driven on the open road, the engine emits up to 40- times the legal limit. This fraud not only hurts the owners of these vehicles but every other man, woman, and child who has to breath the polluted air caused by these emissions.
By fraudulently concealing the true results of emissions tests, Volkswagen has caused great harm and damage to the owners of these vehicles. The owners believed their vehicles complied with Environmental Protection Agency standards and the vehicles would provide reliable service throughout their useful lives. Now, owners of recalled Volkswagens and Audis face increased fuel costs, decreased performance, decrease in resale values, and other potential damages as this saga plays out.
It is unclear at this time if Volkswagen will be offering any refunds to owners who paid a premium when they purchased their vehicle. In order to be eligible for a refund, if Volkswagen eventually issues a refund for the premium, your car must meet the following criteria:
- The car must be model year 2009 or newer;
- The car must have a diesel engine; and,
- The car must be a Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche.
While VW originally planned to fix 2.0- liter diesel vehicles that were equipped with the defeat software, the plan was rejected by U.S. Regulators. Currently, VW claim fund head Kenneth Feinberg, who headed the compensation funds for victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, General Motors defective ignition switch, and the 9/11 attacks, is suggesting the company plans to offer “generous compensation packages” for VW diesel vehicle owners, though the automaker has yet to decide if it plans to compensate victims through a buy-back program, or a repair/replacement program, leaving many owners to feel betrayed and frustrated.
*It is important to note that not all diesel-fueled engines are affected by the fault software that is the subject of this recall.