Volkswagen “clean diesel” had been a staple in the green culture for years. Now it seems the car wasn’t so green. Federal reports estimate that 11 million VW “clean diesel” vehicles had actually been polluting the air at rates 40 times the federal emissions standard.
Not only had Volkswagen been “playing dirty” while pretending to set the clean standard, they installed technology to hide the problem and beat emission tests. The market has reacted harshly, criticizing Volkswagen and calling for tougher measures on the German automaker. Meanwhile, consumers who purchased Volkswagen diesel vehicles, incurring the additional cost and burden of using diesel fuel as an environmentally responsible choice, have been duped into driving a vehicle that caused more damage than cheaper alternatives.
There are currently a few class-action lawsuits currently pending against Volkswagen seeking compensation for the depreciated value of the owner’s vehicles. Most of the lawsuits already filed have focused on product liability claims. VW’s fraudulent claims to consumers about the fuel efficiency and environmentally sound design of their cars is likely to spur many more lawsuits.
Volkswagen may also be sued by government environmental agencies. Harris County, Texas filed a lawsuit against VW in September 2015 seeking $100 million in damages for polluting Houston and other parts of the county with toxic chemicals and then fraudulently deceiving local consumers and authorities by concealing the problem.
Owners of Volkswagen clean diesel vehicles may also find it difficult to now register their vehicles and pass emissions tests, especially in states with tougher environmental standards like California. While VW plans to recall 500,000 “TDI Clean Diesel” brand vehicles, it must first address the massive pollution inflicted on the environment by their products. Before any recall happens, Volkswagen will work with the EPA to set a plan in motion.
If you have purchased or leased a Volkswagen manufactured diesel powered vehicle then you may be entitled to damages. You should speak with a qualified commercial and products liability attorney immediately to protect your rights. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we have achieved some of the most significant products liability verdicts nationwide. Our lawyers will fight to makes sure that Volkswagen lives up to their responsibility to you. Contact us today for a free consultation.