Owners of recalled diesel model Volkswagen vehicles and dealerships with competing vehicles may have legal rights to file lawsuits related to the emissions scandal. Volkwagen lawsuits from across the country have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation against Volkswagen Group of America (Volkswagen). Shareholder Jayne Conroy of Simmons Hanly Conroy serves on the plaintiffs’ leadership team for the litigation. The lawsuits allege that Volkswagen intentionally breached U.S. laws and Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) rules and regulations by selling vehicles manufactured by its affiliates Volkswagen AG and Audi AG that purposefully evaded federal and state laws.
The action follows Volkswagen’s admission that it installed “defeat device” software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, which allowed the falsification of emissions results. Vehicles with this software meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation have emissions of up to 40 times the legal amount.
According to the EPA’s notice of violation (NOV) issued on Sept. 18, the “defeat device” detects when the vehicle is undergoing official emissions testing and turns full emissions control on only during the test. If you have purchased, or are a dealership in competition with these vehicles, you may be entitled to compensation.
Owners of the affected vehicles may be entitled to compensation due to the false advertising provided by Volkswagen. These advertising efforts, were based on the idea of “Clean Diesel.” Had consumers known that these vehicles emit 40 times the legal amount, they may have been able to avoid purchasing them, or would have paid less.
As an owner of an affected Volkswagen diesel vehicle, it is likely that you will receive a recall notice. While repairs will not cost you anything, they may result in a decrease in value of your vehicle due to the expected decrease in their performance and efficiency.
According to the EPA, affected diesel models include:
Due to the false advertising supplied by Volkswagen, competing dealerships may have lost sales. Volkswagen’s false advertising may have swayed consumers to purchase diesel vehicles under the guise of “Clean Diesel.” Competing dealerships with diesel models which meet the EPA’s emissions standards, such as Chevrolet, Mercedes and BMW may be entitled to compensation.
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