Consumers who leased or purchased clean diesel Audi or Volkswagen vehicles could be eligible to recover compensation for their loss of the ability to sell their vehicle, the loss of car value, health problems associated with harmful pollution or reduced efficiency in their vehicle.
Those individuals who purchased a vehicle that was marketed as being clean diesel have recently discovered that an algorithm was used by the manufacturer to trick regulators into thinking that the cars fell under federal emission standards.
Unfortunately, however, the actual studies identified that the Audi and Volkswagen vehicles affected by this are actually emitting harmful pollutants into the atmosphere at rates of up to 40 times higher than the acceptable standards.
If you have a vehicle that has been impacted by this, you may be able to recover compensation for the losses, including decreased performance, damages for the loss of car value, your difficulty selling the vehicle and reduced efficiency. Consulting with an attorney is strongly recommended.
Volkswagen engaged in a marketing campaign that promoted the environmental benefits of driving these diesel cars by using terms like “clean diesel.” The benefits of such car, as reported by VW, include greater gas mileage range between fillups, getting more miles to the gallen, acceleration and thrill provided by a turbo engine, and lower operation costs. When the impacted vehicles were marketed, these campaigns included statements such as that buyers could feel environmentally responsible for purchasing a diesel vehicle. One of the biggest disadvantages for diesel vehicles in recent years has been the high pollution emissions. The cost of these cars marketed as having “clean diesel” capabiilites was higher when compared with similar cars using gasoline engines.
In 2015, however, the EPA moved forward with allegations that VW had used a “defeat device” to make these cars appear more environmentally friendly than they were. In lab conditions, the test results appeared to be under legal limits, but results on the open road revealed emissions up to 40 times higher
Models Affected by the Audi and VW Recall
Several newer models of the Volkswagen Beetle, Jetta SportWagen, Passat and Audi vehicles sold under the clean diesel name are affected by this recall. Consumers across the United States who leased or purchased these vehicles in order to decrease their environmental impact should know that these vehicles are now being recalled as a result of the manufacturers’ cheating on vehicle emissions tests. This cheating system is known as a defeat device which may have affected 11 million vehicles around the world. The vehicle models affected by this recall include:
- The 2009-2014 Jetta SportWagen TDI
- 2009-2015 Jetta TDI
- 2010-2015 Golf TDI
- 2012-2015 Beetle TDI
- 2010-2015 Audi A3 TDI
- 2012-2015 Beetle TDI Convertible
- 2012-2015 Passat TDI
Altered Pollution Tests and Recalled Vehicles
In 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency alleged that Volkswagen was guilty of making use of software that was designed to evade federal emissions regulations on nearly 500,000 diesel vehicles in the United States. The nitrogen oxides emitted by these vehicles were up to 40 times higher than the typical level that could also expose consumers to dangerous pollutants such as causing respiratory conditions.
The EPA identified that the software in the Audi and the VW vehicles that were advertised as clean diesels actually tricked regulators into thinking that the cars complied with emission standards based on the test results, although much higher levels of pollutants are emitted on the open road. Information from the EPA identified that the software installed in these vehicles was discovered after researchers at the International Council on Clean Transportation and those at West Virginia University raised concerns regarding Volkswagen vehicle emissions levels. The defeat device was purposely designed to initiate full emission controls in the diesel vehicles during the testing phase.
Consumers who leased or purchased these recalled vehicles could be entitled to receive compensation for much higher eco footprints and loss of value. If you or someone you know has been affected by this recall, you need to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your next steps. You may be eligible to recover compensation.
In early 2017, the U.S. has moved forward with additional legal action against Volkswagen. An executive was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud due to the diesel emissions scandal. General manager for the environmental and engineering office for VW in MIchigan, was charged. The diesel emissions test results in question are those between 2006 and 2015.