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 spring 2013, they drove the cars around Los Angeles and up the West Coast to Seattle, comparing them to a BMW X5 sport-utility with a diesel engine, according to Daniel Carder, who led the WVU team. While the BMW’s emission results came in under what the vehicles produced in laboratory tests, those of the Jetta were 15 to 35 times higher than the legal limit, and the Passat’s results were 10 to 20 times higher than represented by VW.
In March 2014, the West Virginia University researchers, having analyzed the data and and compared it to VW’s official results, presented their findings at a conference in San Diego, sponsored by both California Regulators and the EPA. VW responded by trying to discredit the results, challenging both the WVU methodology and data. The engineers at WVU went back to the lab, retested everything, and found that when the car was warm, it delivered different pollution results compared to a cold car.
Can I Sue Volkswagen for Fraud?
We believe that consumers who purchased these vehicles from VW are entitled to compensation since they are essentially victims of fraud. Our VW fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of owners of VW and Audi Diesel cars. If you have purchased a VW or Audi, you might be entitled to receive monetary damages as a member of class action.
For nearly 25 years our office has fought hard on behalf of people against major corporations, like VW, who have put their profits ahead of their obligations to their consumers. We offer free initial legal consultations to anyone who may have a potential VW fraud claim. Contact us, Toll Free at 1-866-597-4529, or email us at [email protected] today.
In class actions lawsuits, the first to file generally has a priority for recovery. We urge you to contact us immediately to preserve your legal rights.