Over two dozen class action lawsuits have been filed by people who own Volkswagen (VW) diesel vehicles with illegal software designed to cheat emissions tests.
Volkswagen Emissions Fraud
In September 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that millions of Volkswagen (VW) and Audi “CleanDiesel” vehicles had an illegal device to cheat emissions tests.
The so-called “defeat device” was designed to sense when the vehicle was being tested and reduce emissions — but on the road, the vehicles emit up to 40X acceptable levels of nitrogen oxide.
The problem is that the vehicles were marketed as clean, environmentally-friendly alternatives to cars with gasoline engines. The “CleanDiesel” cars had better fuel-economy and lower carbon emissions, but significantly more emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a toxic gas that can cause breathing problems.
Vehicles Affected by Emissions Fraud
- Audi A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3, Q5
- Beetle (2012-2015)
- Beetle Convertible (2012-2015)
- Golf (2010-2015)
- Golf Sportwagen (2015)
- Jetta (2009-2015)
- Jetta Sportwagen (2009-2014)
- Passat (2012-2015)
VW Class Action Lawsuits
Four days after the EPA reported the emissions fraud, 25 class action lawsuits had been filed on behalf of owners in all 50 states, according to Reuters. One plaintiff in New York said “Every reason that I bought the car was based on a lie.”
What is the problem?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is nationally recognized as a class action law firm, but our attorneys are currently filing individual lawsuits as opposed to a Volkswagen emissions faud class action.
The problem is that there is a trade-off between emissions and performance. The easiest way to fix the cars is by updating the software, but that could impact performance. VW might also choose to retrofit the engines, which would cost thousands of dollars per vehicle. Both of these “fixes” could potentially harm resale value.
About Class Actions
Class actions make sense when thousands of people have the same legal claim. One person is chosen as the “class representative,” everyone with the same injury opts-in to the lawsuit, and members collectively seek compensation.
Why Our Law Firm is Filing Individual Lawsuits as Opposed to a Class Action
For people with the most serious losses, class actions can have disadvantages. Lawyers may accept a “low-ball” settlement and take a huge cut of the payout, leaving pennies on the dollar for the average plaintiff.
Instead of a class action, our attorneys are filing individual lawsuits. We believe that everyone who purchased a VW or Audi with an illegal “defeat device” deserves an attorney who is committed to their case.
If you decide to join this rapidly-growing litigation, we may be able to help you seek compensation for your economic and non-economic losses, lost resale value on your car, and more.