This article shares some great advice from Phoenix accident lawyer, Aaron Crane from Cantor Crane about Volkswagen liability for emissions violations. Volkswagen has been a favorite American brand for generations. The name long held a reputation for fuel efficiency and low emissions. In an age of concern for the environment, Volkswagen seemed to be meeting exacting standards. The brand apparently exceeded rigid national and state automobile regulations. All seemed well until 2015.
Unfortunately, it turns out the company cheated. Many Volkswagen cars should never have been sold in the United States.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Investigation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an investigation. The agency found over 400,000, Volkswagens with an engine device known to alter emissions tests. The so-called “defeat devices” had a way to discern when a regulatory test was ongoing. Then, they would produce a false performance report to fool authorities.
The German Automaker Admits Fraud
Faced with the EPA evidence, Volkswagen confessed to the misconduct. It is still unknown just how many cars worldwide have the devices. You should be aware because your Volkswagen may be unsafe.
Volkswagen may not be the only culprit. Authorities continue to look at other major brands. Some companies, including BMW, Ford and Renault, deny any wrongdoing.
The Affected Models
Currently, there are eight Volkswagen models proven to be involved in the scandal. These are:
- Audi A3 TDI (2010-2015)
- Volkswagen Beetle TDI (2012-2015)
- Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI (2013-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI (2015)
- Volkswagen Golf TDI (2010-2015)
- Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI (2009-2014)
- Volkswagen Jetta TDI (2009-2015)
- Volkswagen Passat TDI (2012-2015)
Legal Action Pursued
It is expected that there will be major liability lawsuits filed against the company. In fact, many predict that the cumulative settlement price should prove the largest ever. Heads have already begun to roll. Volkswagen fired CEO Matthias Mueller because of the scandal.
Fines could reach almost $40,000, per affected vehicle. Volkswagen could pay something to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. Even worse, the stock price has suffered a 30 percent drop since the matter became public. Shareholders are understandably concerned.
Individual executives could face jail time if the Justice Department decides to bring criminal charges.
Civil Charges You Could Pursue
There are various possible civil charges that you should consider if a victim. These include:
- breach of contract
- false advertising
- fraudulent concealment
- violation of consumer protection laws
You might want to consider joining one of the 200 federal class action lawsuits currently on record. Your personal injury lawyer will know if you fit into the class of victims to a particular lawsuit.
It is always best for you to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Delays can make it more difficult to accumulate evidence.
Some Volkswagens Unsafe to Drive
Remember that if you own one of the listed models, it is probably illegal to drive the car. State regulations usually preclude known defective vehicles from the roads. Therefore, you could be entitled to financial compensation for the lost value.
Right now, Volkswagen has set aside at least $7 billion to compensate its victims, leaving experts to wonder if it has all been worth the effort. Just how much of a profit did Volkswagen make by cheating its customers? Hopefully, you will be able to receive justice if hurt by the fraud.
Get Product Liability Legal Help
As you can see, Volkswagen has harmed its customers. People spent a lot of money expecting to use their cars for a number of years. Now, those same vehicles have been rendered worthless.
If you have suffered because of this or other fraudulent manufacturer action, contact an Arizona accident lawyer at Cantor Crane. An attorney can help prepare a case to demand the company pay for the damage done.