U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer is giving German automaker Volkswagen an additional month to cultivate a proposal to fix its diesel vehicles that violate U.S. emissions standards. The car manufacturer failed to meet the judge’s initial deadline of March 24 to come up with a solution to fix the 600,000 U.S. diesel-powered VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles still on the road.
VW programmed the computers in its diesel vehicles to detect when they were undergoing official emissions testing. Only during such testing did the cars turn on their full emission control systems. The controls are turned off during actual road use, resulting in better fuel economy and performance, but producing significantly greater pollutants in violation of U.S. clean air laws. In February, more than 500 federal lawsuits filed against the German carmaker were consolidated into one multi-district litigation in San Francisco Federal Court.
“Whatever the proposal, by April 21st it must be specific and detailed,” stated Judge Breyer. This proposal could include remedies such as a regulator-approved technical fix that would allow the diesel vehicles to stay on the road or a buyback plan.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “If no substantial progress has been made by [the extended deadline], Judge Breyer said he would seriously consider a request by plaintiffs’ lawyers to set a summer trial date, potentially allowing Judge Breyer to dictate how the company should deal with its cars.”
For years, Volkswagen concealed the fact that it was cheating on diesel emissions tests and violating U.S. environmental standards. It was not until late 2015 that VW publicly admitted that it had rigged emissions production in the diesel engines of approximately 11 million VW, Porsche, and Audi vehicles worldwide. The automaker now faces criminal investigations in the U.S. and Germany, along with civil lawsuits by the U.S. Justice Department and state attorneys general. The company’s chief executive and top U.S. manager have also left the company during this scandal.
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.