The chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board has admitted that Volkswagen employees began cheating on emissions tests more than a decade ago, after they determined they could not meet clean air standards in the U.S. legally. Board Chairman Hans-Dieter Pötsch admitted that the wrongdoing began in 2005 when the company decided to make diesel cars the focus of its United States marketing. Volkswagen saw diesel, which it promoted as delivering superior fuel economy and acceleration, as a way to set itself apart from competitors. The fake emissions testing results allowed the vehicles to pass U.S. clean air regulations.
An internal inquiry into the scandal is underway. During this newest press conference, Pötsch again acknowledged that since 2005, more than 11 million Volkswagens with diesel engines were rigged to appear to offer superior fuel economy and acceleration to appeal to consumers. “There was a tolerance for breaking the rules,” Mr. Pötsch said of his company.
Lieff Cabraser represents Volkswagen (and VW-owned Porsche and Audi) owners in class action lawsuits filed in federal courts in numerous states over the 2015 VW emissions fraud scandal. At the heart of the complaints is the charge that for years, VW intentionally and systematically cheated its customers, lied to the government, and misled the public about the efficacy of its four-cylinder diesel engine vehicles sold under the Volkswagen and Audi brands.