Owners of “Clean Diesel” Volkswagen and Audi vehicles recently discovered that their vehicles are anything but clean, thanks to a “sophisticated” algorithm Volkswagen allegedly adopted to trick regulators into believing the diesel vehicles complied with federal emissions standards, when they were actually emitting harmful pollutants at rates of up to 40 times the acceptable standard. If you purchased or leased a recalled VW or Audi Clean Diesel vehicle included in the list below, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses, including damages for loss of car value, inability to sell the vehicle, decreased performance, reduced efficiency and an increased eco-footprint. Contact a knowledgeable VW/Audi recall lawyer today to discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit against Volkswagen.
Consumers across the country purchased or leased Volkswagen and Audi Clean Diesel vehicles in an effort to minimize their environmental impact, and now these vehicles are being recalled for cheating pollution tests. The “defeat device” allegedly installed by Volkswagen in its Clean Diesel vehicles is believed to affect 11 million vehicles worldwide, and will likely cost upwards of $7 billion to address. The car models affected by the Volkswagen and Audi recall include the following:
On September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen of installing software designed to evade federal emissions regulations on 482,000 diesel vehicles in the United States, causing the vehicles to emit nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the standard level and possibly exposing consumers to the harmful pollutants, which can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory conditions. According to the EPA, the software in VW and Audi vehicles advertised as Clean Diesel tricks regulators into believing that the cars comply with emissions standards, when they are actually emitting higher-than-average levels of pollutants.
According to the EPA, the software installed in the recalled Volkswagen and Audi vehicles was discovered after researchers at West Virginia University and the International Council on Clean Transportation “raised questions about emissions levels” in Volkswagen vehicles, and the defeat device was reportedly designed to activate the diesel vehicles’ full emissions controls when they were being tested for emissions performance. In light of this information, consumers who purchased or leased the recalled vehicles may be entitled to damages for loss of value and significantly increased eco-footprints for cars advertised as Clean Diesels.
Another concern for owners of the recalled vehicles is the resale value of the vehicles. For Volkswagen to make the diesel vehicles comply with United States emissions standards, the automaker would likely be forced to significantly downgrade the cars’ performance characteristics, including horsepower and efficiency, which means they would no longer perform as they did when they were first purchased, and would therefore have a lower value at resale. This means additional damages for owners may include inability to sell vehicles, reduced efficiency and decreased performance.
The deceptive actions of Volkswagen could have a significant impact on the value of the recalled VW and Audi vehicles, and could mean additional losses for consumers who purchased the vehicles, including the costs of any repairs necessary to satisfy U.S. regulators. As a result, owners of Clean Diesel VW and Audi vehicles are pursuing lawsuits against Volkswagen on claims of fraud and deception, seeking to hold the German automaker accountable for its actions. As a result of its fraudulent conduct, Volkswagen is now facing fines for violations of the Clean Air Act of up to $37,500 for each affected vehicle, which could mean a total fine of as much as $18 billion in the United States alone. The German automaker is also part of a criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department, but any federal lawsuits brought against Volkswagen will be separate from individual complaints brought on behalf of affected car owners.
The Environmental Protection Agency has launched an investigation into Volkswagen’s “defeat device,” and according to Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, the agency intends to hold Volkswagen responsible for its deceptive actions. “VW was concealing the facts from the EPA, the state of California and from consumers,” says Giles. “VW may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations alleged.” Says Ellen Bloom, senior director of federal policy for Consumer Reports’ Consumers Union policy and advocacy division, “Volkswagen was ripping off the consumer and hurting the environment at the same time.”
Consumers who bought or leased a recalled Volkswagen or Audi diesel vehicle reportedly paid anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 more for their vehicle, which it turns out, features a falsely-advertised Clean Diesel fuel-saving engine, compared to vehicles with regular gas engines. Volkswagen emissions lawyers are currently investigating claims across the United States on behalf of consumers who have been affected by the VW/Audi emissions recall, helping owners of Clean Diesel vehicles pursue the financial compensation they are entitled to. If you believe you have been adversely affected by the Volkswagen emissions recall, consult an experienced attorney today to explore your possible compensation options.