Several class action lawsuits have been filed against Volkswagen, in both state and federal courts across the country, on behalf of consumers who purchased certain Volkswagen diesel model cars between 2009 and 2015. The German carmaker has admitted to deceiving the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency by rigging the smog emissions test results associated with its Type EA 189 2-liter diesel engines found in the VW Jetta, Beetle, and Golf.
VW, the world’s number one selling car manufacturer, cheated on the testing process by including engine management software – a program specially designed to turn on the full emissions saving device during the emissions “testing” phase and turn the device off during “normal” operation by the owner. When the device is turned on during the test, the resulting emissions are low; falsely indicating the car is consistently environmentally friendly and in compliance with the Clean Air Act and other government air pollution standards. When the testing phase is complete, the software deactivates the device.
If you own an affected Volkswagen and believe you purchased your automobile as a result of the carmaker’s false advertising concerning the performance of the diesel engine, call the attorneys at Abramowitz, Pomerantz & Morehead, P.A. for a free evaluation of your rights.
By including the software as part of the engine management system, the cars have superior performance and are fuel efficient during normal everyday driving, but they produce significantly higher nitrogen oxide emissions – about 40 times higher than the acceptable level under state and federal laws. There are 500,000 VW cars affected in the United States and a reported 11 million vehicles affected worldwide. Other cars affected by this diesel engine are the VW Passat, model year 2014-2015, and the Audi A3 (2009-2015 model years).
The car owners who have filed lawsuits against Volkswagen are alleging they have suffered, and will suffer, actual harm, claiming that even if their vehicles are “fixed” and brought into EPA compliance, they were deceived to their detriment because: (1) the car purchased was never “green” or “clean” as advertised; and (2) the car will no longer perform as it did when originally purchased, resulting in a loss of value. Additionally, the lawsuits allege that the vehicle owners will have to pay more for fuel while using their cars because the diesel engines are not “fuel-efficient” when the full emission control device is engaged.
The civil lawsuits outline a variety of legal theories, ranging from fraudulent concealment to violation of the state laws regulating unfair competition and false advertising; all recognized causes of action under Florida law too. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages, including “emotional damages” for being mislead in the belief they purchased environmentally friendly cars. The plaintiffs also seek legal fees and costs.
Several news agencies have reported that Volkswagen has set aside over $7 billion to cover the anticipated expenses associated with this diesel engine scandal. The money will be used to pay the cost to fix the engines on the road, pay fines that will undoubtedly be assessed for intentionally violating the air pollution regulations and laws, and to defend or settle the civil lawsuits filed by angry and disheartened customers who specifically purchased the Volkswagen models in question based on the company’s false claims and advertising that these vehicles were “green” and environmentally superior.
Please call the attorneys at Abramowitz, Pomerantz & Morehead, P.A. for more information about Volkswagen’s fraud and misrepresentation and a free evaluation of your rights.