For years Volkswagen has built its brand on offering fuel efficient, earth friendly, highly engineered cars. While this marketing made Volkswagen a household name, it turns out it was built on deception—and that Volkswagen has been cheating emissions standards since at least 2009.
If you own an affected Volkswagen vehicle, you need to seek a recovery as soon as possible. Even if your car is repaired by Volkswagen for free, you may face a loss of fuel economy and performance—as well as the declined value of your car. John Foy & Associates is one of the largest and most experienced class action recall law firms in the country. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get a free consultation today.
What did Volkswagen do wrong?
Volkwagen has been marketing its “clean” diesel cars as economical and environmentally friendly. Diesel cars tend to get better gas mileage that cars using regular gas, but historically they have been dirty, high-emissions vehicles. Volkswagen promised customers that its clean diesel cars would give all the advantages of diesel, without the environmental harm. Unfortunately, they lied.
From 2009 through 2015, Volkswagen equipped its cars with software designed to cheat emissions testing. The software could detect when the car was being run in a laboratory setting for emissions purposes, and kept the car’s emissions well under federal requirements during the test. The rest of the time, under regular driving conditions, the software turned off the environmental protections—producing up to 40 times the legal limit of noxious emissions.
The software did this so that customers would get maximum performance and fuel economy, while thinking they drove an environmentally responsible vehicle. Approximately 11 million cars were equipped with this deceptive software.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) caught on through discrepancies in testing data. The EPA issued a notice of violation in September 2015, and Volkswagen’s United States CEO admitted to the wrongdoing before Congress just weeks later.
What are the problems with the emissions?
The main emissions at stake in the Volkswagen case are nitrogen oxides (NOx). These are among the most damaging fossil fuel emissions, both to public health and the environment. They’re tightly regulated in virtually all industries, from power plants to auto emissions to large ships. The technology to reduce NOx emissions is well developed and has existed for decades. In automobiles, it includes catalytic reduction, a process of mixing the NOx exhaust with a harmless chemical like ammonia to cause it to turn into a less dangerous substance.
The problem with emitting too much NOx is that it leads to sickness and death as well as environmental devastation. Environmentally, NOx can cause acid rain to form. It’s also the main ingredient in visible “smog” in cities and can form ground-level ozone, which is toxic to humans. In terms of public health, there is no question that the illegal emissions from Volkswagen will directly lead to deaths. Based on the amount of NOx put out, peer-reviewed research has estimated that 59 people will die of health effects who would otherwise have lived. More broadly, the pollution from Volkswagen will cause countless cases of asthma, bronchitis and heart problems.
Isn’t Volkswagen being punished? Why take any other action?
Volkswagen is being held accountable by both regulators and law enforcement. In the US alone, the company will owe the EPA up to $46 billion in damages for Clean Air Act violations. It also faces possible criminal penalties.
Volkswagen has also launched a recall. It’s calling in all affected vehicles in the United States for mandatory repairs and updating. This will involve disabling the cheating software and overhauling the vehicles to correctly regulate emissions.
However, these measures do little to help the individual car buyer. Anyone who owns an affected Volkswagen now finds themselves with a much poorer car than they paid for. This is because:
- The car may not perform as well after getting the mandatory upgrade
- The car may get less miles per gallon, costing more to operate
- Some of the proposed fixes involve adding a chemical tank that the owner has to fill up and maintain
- The resale value of the vehicle has declined
That’s why individual car owners should join a class action lawsuit and recover their financial damages.
Which specific car models are affected?
The current list of affected vehicles includes:
- Audi A3 (2010-2015)
- Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016)
- Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016)
- Audi A8/A8L (2014-2016)
- Audi Q5 (2014-2016)
- Audi Q7 (2009-2016)
- Porsche Cayenne (2013-2016)
- Volkswagen Beetle (2012-2015)
- Volkswagen Beetle Convertible (2012-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf (2010-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen (2015)
- Volkswagen Jetta (2009-2015)
- Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen (2009-2014)
- Volkswagen Passat (2012-2015)
- Volkswagen Touareg (2009-2016)
If I own an affected car model, what can I do?
Volkswagen is liable for the loss of your car value, the added costs you will face as an owner, and the burden you now carry dealing with a defective, unpopular vehicle. The best thing you can do is speak to a qualified attorney and join a class action lawsuit.
Class action suits are easy to join. A “class action” suit means that en entire group of people—like Volkswagen car owners—are represented by a single legal action. It keeps costs to a minimum, makes the process efficient, and ensures that you get the same outcome as every other Volkswagen customer. Best of all, you pay nothing to join a class action lawsuit. Legal fees are paid out of the settlement or verdict when it’s reached.
The Volkswagen recall lawsuit is more than just a way to hold Volkswagen accountable. It will help get you the money you deserve to offset your losses as an owner. Your financial recovery could help make up for the lost resale value of your car, pay for your gas, or help you get a new car altogether.
If you or your family have purchased any affected Volkswagen model, don’t wait. The deadline on class action suits move quickly and Volkswagen is working to keep their liability to a minimum. Call John Foy & Associates for a free case consultation to learn your options. We charge nothing unless we get you a financial recovery. Call 404-400-4000 and get your FREE consultation today