More than 230 federal class action lawsuits have been filed against the German auto manufacturer, Volkswagen due to an admission that it rigged its diesel cars to pass admissions tests. According to the automotive liability lawsuit, the company deceived customers by marketing and selling cars with diesel engines as ‘environmentally friendly,’ when they were actually emitting 40 times the legal amount of nitrogen oxide. In advertisements, Volkswagen marketed its diesel vehicles as “the world’s cleanest diesel engines,” falsely misleading car owners into thinking the company cared about fuel efficiency and air quality. A multi-billion dollar settlement is expected as a result of the proceedings to compensate 11 million car owners worldwide, who purchased diesel engine vehicles with cheating software installed, an estimated 500,000 being in the United States. Based on the premium consumers paid for the “clean” diesel engines, around $1,000-$7,000 should be paid out per car, valuing Volkswagen’s liability at $500 million to $3.5 billion. Volkswagen has stated that it has set aside $7.3 billion for recall and repair costs.
Although the Volkswagen spokesperson has declined to comment, the company has issued an apology, and the CEO, Martin Winterkorn, has resigned. In another lawsuit filed against the company, investors are seeking damage for billions of dollars lost in a decline of stock value due to the scandal. Lawsuits from competing automakers are also expected, because of market share loss. The main location for court proceedings are still being decided, with Los Angeles and Volkswagen headquarters in Virginia being the top two contenders. Because California has some of the toughest environmental laws in the country, another independent lawsuit will be developing with the criminal and regulatory investigations by the U.S. Justice Department. It faces fines of up to $37,500 per vehicle, more than $18 billion. “This is going to be huge. It might be the largest liability we’ve ever seen,” stated a USC law professor. “The culpability is so clear. This is deliberate fraud and they spent a lot of time concealing it… They can fix the emissions problems, but they can’t give you back the car you thought you were buying.”
If you have fallen victim to false, misleading, and deceptive marketing practices, the law firm of Hodes Milman Liebeck can provide you with the assistance you need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.