Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
VW Emissions Fraud Lawsuits Consolidated in SF Federal Court

VW Diesel Emissions Fraud Lawsuits Consolidated in San Francisco Federal Court

The first consolidated complaint in the VW, Audi, and Porsche “clean diesel” emissions fraud case was filed in a more than 700-page document on February 22, 2016 in Federal Court in San Francisco.

The lawsuit consolidates the claims of approximately 500 Volkswagen diesel vehicle owners who were misled by the German carmaker in purchasing vehicles they thought were environmentally friendly, as the cars were marketed as offering high fuel efficiency while emitting low levels of smog-causing pollutants. This “clean diesel” marketing technique allowed the auto manufacturer “to grab as much as 70% of the nascent diesel-engine market in the U.S.,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

600,000 U.S. Vehicles Affected

From 2009-2015, Volkswagen sold or leased almost 600,000 “dirty diesel vehicles” containing the emissions cheating software in the United States alone. VW programmed computers in these vehicles to detect when they were undergoing official emissions testing, and only then did the cars turn on their full emission control systems. The controls are then turned off during actual road use, resulting in better fuel economy and performance, but producing significantly greater toxic pollutants – at a rate of 40 times the legal limit – in violation of U.S. clean air laws.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, “‘This case arises out of one of the most brazen corporate crimes in history, a cautionary tale about winning at any cost,’ the plaintiffs claim in documents filed Monday with the federal court in San Francisco. ‘Volkswagen cheated its way to the top of the automotive food chain and spared no victim along the way.'”

Volkswagen has publicly admitted that 11 million of their diesel vehicles world-wide contained the illegal emissions-cheating software.

Elizabeth Cabraser Named Lead Plaintiffs Counsel in the VW Emissions Litigation

In January, Lieff Cabraser name partner and co-founder Elizabeth J. Cabraser was appointed sole lead class counsel in charge of conducting the nationwide multi-district litigation against VW. Ms. Cabraser was one of more than 150 attorneys seeking lead roles in this litigation.

The lawsuits seek statutory penalties and compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages for the class members — all persons who purchased or leased the VW, Porsche, and Audi diesel cars covered by the violation notice. The case is In re: Volkswagen Clean Diesel Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, case number 2672, before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict 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, 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.