Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
VW Diesel Emission Vehicles

Diesel Vehicles Buyback: Possible Solution to VW Emissions Scandal?

During the January 21, 2016 hearing in San Francisco, it was calculated that the number of diesel vehicles in the U.S. affected by the Volkswagen emissions fraud amounted to a total of 575,000, higher than previous estimates. The German car manufacturer currently faces hundreds of class action lawsuits from consumers who were harmed by VW’s deception and fraud concerning deceptively “clean diesel” engines in their vehicles.

Many consumers purchased VW, Porsche, and Audi diesel vehicles with the belief that they were making an environmentally-responsible decision, as the cars were marketed as offering high fuel efficiency while emitting low levels of smog-causing pollutants. However, it was discovered that VW programmed the technology in these cars to detect when they were undergoing official emissions testing, and only then did the vehicles turn on their full emission control systems.

As reported by the New York Times, Volkswagen officials indicated at the 1/21 court hearing that the auto company may possibly buy back some diesel vehicles in the United States. Robert Giuffra, a defense lawyer for Volkswagen, stated that VW would eventually find a solution to this diesel emissions issue. “The question though is one of timing. And for some of the vehicles it may well be that the timing is too far into the future,” he said. “So we might have to do a buyback or some sort of solution like that for some subset of the vehicles, but that hasn’t been determined yet.”

United States District Judge Charles R. Breyer noted at the hearing that the civil cases “were not a ‘whodunit’ focused on who at Volkswagen was responsible for the cheating.”

“It is more of a case of how do we fix what was done,” the judge explained. “If it can’t be fixed, then what is fair and just compensation for the people who have been damaged by this matter?”

After the court hearing, Judge Breyer appointed 21 lawyers to join a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, selecting Lieff Cabraser name partner and co-founder Elizabeth J. Cabraser as sole lead counsel in charge of coordinating and conducting the nationwide multi-district litigation against Volkswagen over its use of software cheats to commit emissions fraud. Ms. Cabraser was one of more than 150 attorneys seeking lead roles in this litigation.

Lieff Cabraser Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi Emissions Fraud Attorneys

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, Porsche, and Audi brands.

If you are a Volkswagen, Porsche, or Audi owner and are concerned about the drastic diminution in value of your vehicle, please click here to contact a consumer rights attorney at Lieff Cabraser about your case. We will review your claim for free, confidentially, and with no obligation on your part.