As reported in Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal, Automotive News, and numerous other news outlets, the Judge in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” emissions fraud litigation ordered the company to come up with a fix for the 600,000 U.S. diesel Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles still on the road in the wake of VW’s admission that it rigged its emissions testing software in violation of U.S. environmental standards.
According to the transcript of the February 25, 2016 hearing in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ordered Volkswagen to produce a solution before its next court date on March 24. “Certain decisions may have to be made by the company that will not be the most advantageous economically,” Breyer stated while setting the deadline. “But it’s a decision that they must make in what I will call the very near future.”
More than 500 federal lawsuits have been filed against the German auto manufacturer, and consolidated into one complaint in San Francisco Federal Court on February 22. Last year, Volkswagen publicly admitted that it had rigged emissions production in the diesel engines of approximately 11 million vehicles worldwide. VW programmed software in their diesel vehicles to detect when they were undergoing official emissions testing – only then did the cars turn on their full emission control systems. The controls were then shut off during actual road use, resulting in better fuel economy and performance, but producing toxic nitrogen oxide pollutants well in excess of U.S. clean air standards.
The automaker faces lawsuits by the U.S. Justice Department and state attorneys general as well, involving fines that analysts think could rise to as much as $46 billion, in addition to the hundreds of private cases against the carmaker. The U.S. court is clear that it will not wait for Volkswagen to come up with its own settlement program and solution to fix the hundreds of “dirty diesel” automobiles.
Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel Elizabeth Cabraser stated, “Judge Breyer ordered Volkswagen ‘to come to court with an answer on which cars can be fixed and details on how soon that can happen. Those that can’t be fixed will have to be taken off the road,’ with consumers getting buybacks.”
The case is In Re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2672, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
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, Volkswagen 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.