Hundreds of Fraud Claims Already Filed Against Volkswagen

Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed in courts around the country against Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, for what many lawyers consider to be the largest corporate fraud in history. What do we know so far?  “Clean Diesel” was a marketing scam rigged to capitalize on a computer programming software known as a “defeat device” that altered the emissions data these cars actually produced on the road in real-world conditions, as opposed to in the laboratories. The fraud was discovered by accident when a West Virginia University scientist tested some Volkswagen cars and found that the emissions were out of compliance because of software manipulation.  At first VW denied this, claiming that WVU’s tests were flawed. The actual emissions numbers violated the Clean Air Act.  Millions of consumers had purchased VW diesel vehicles they believed to be “green,” or a least greener than traditional gasoline engines.  The Clean Air Act specifically prohibits any manufacturer from installing any device that lowers the actual emissions of a vehicle being tested by the EPA–as compared to what the vehicle actually creates when being driven on the road. Before any vehicle can be sold in the United States, it must meet strict governmental standards and be certified by the EPA.  Diesel engines use a different mix of fuel than gasoline engines.  If a diesel engine does not get enough oxygen to combust the fuel, it will emit various pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide.  Ironically, higher mpg diesels were found to produce the most pollutants. One reason that VW may have been motivated to rig the data would be greed, in terms of...

How Can I Sue Volkswagen For Fraud?

Our Miami consumer fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims against Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, following the revelation that it has participated in one of the biggest scandals in United States automotive history. For decades Volkswagen has purposely marketed its cars as green and environmentally friendly to lure buyers into purchasing its diesel-engine models.  Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) learned that senior VW executives knowingly hacked their cars’ emission data to deceive both U.S. regulators and the public about just how much pollution their diesel engines actually create. Last week VW Chairman Martin Winterkorn was forced to resign, and now VW faces EPA fines that could reach $18 billion; class actions, other civil lawsuits, and certainly U.S. criminal investigations will follow. The EPA has threatened to withhold approval for the company’s 2016 Volkswagen and Audi diesel models, according to a letter sent by the EPA to Johnson and VW’s attorney. The letter detailed some of the timetable for the EPA’s actions. The cars in question are Volkswagen models with “clean-diesel” engines starting in 2008 with the 2009-model Jetta TDI.  Ironically in 2008 the Jetta was named “Green Car of the Year” at the LA Auto Show.  One of the biggest selling points was geared to California consumers, who are subject to strict pollution laws because of the abundance of smog and cancer-related soot. As a result, Jetta buyers received an income tax credit of $1,300. VW’s fraud was revealed by a group of researchers at a West Virginia University lab that placed emission-monitoring equipment on a rented 2012 Jetta and a 2013 Passat.  Over seven weeks in...
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