It was reported last month that if Volkswagen cannot devise an effective solution in a timely manner, the automaker may buy back vehicles from U.S. consumers affected by the emissions cheat scandal. As stated above, VW’s emissions debacle has been going on since September. It started when when federal regulators revealed that Volkswagen installed a cheat in its diesel-powered vehicles that allowed the vehicles to operate without emissions controls except when they were being tested, at which time the vehicle detects it is being tested and turns the emissions controls on.
The admission opened the floodgates for litigation against VW. Several class action lawsuits were filed claiming fraud and economic losses related to the cheat. Litigation has been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) under U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Dee Miles, head of our firm’s Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation Section, has been selected by Judge Breyer to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) for the MDL.
It appears that the buy-back will only be a last resort if the automaker is unable to bring vehicles up to U.S. emissions standards in a timely manner. However, in a Congressional hearing, a lawyer for Volkswagen admitted that for at least some of the affected vehicles, a fix may be “too far into the future,” to avoid a buy-back.
VW has admitted as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide may contain the emissions cheating technology. Specific models affected are 2009-2015 model year Jetta, Beetle, Audi A3, and Golf, and the 2014-2015 model year Passat. Kelly Blue Book values of VW diesel vehicles have dropped by almost 16 percent between September, when the cheat was admitted, and December.
The automaker has vowed to work together with representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), but no agreement has been reached about how to bring the affected vehicles up to meet U.S. Clean Air Act standards. The EPA estimates the affected vehicles may emit close to 40 times more air pollution than legally allowed.
Sources: New York Times, RightingInjustice.com, BeasleyAllen.com
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.