Originally arising as one of the biggest auto-related scandals in U.S. history, the Volkswagen diesel emissions case has led to one of the largest consumer settlements ever – many times higher than the previous automotive industry record. The Associated Press recently interviewed Lieff Cabraser founding partner and Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee Elizabeth J. Cabraser on the VW “dirty diesel” emissions settlement.
With respect to the Volkswagen emissions fraud, more than 500 federal lawsuits were filed against the auto manufacturer and consolidated into one matter in San Francisco Federal Court in early 2016 after Volkswagen publicly admitted that it had rigged emissions testing and production in the diesel engines of approximately 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Cabraser commented on the VW emissions violations suit: “Consumer class actions sometimes get a bum rap, I think. This case was different. It’s about cars. That’s a major investment for people, particularly because they bought these cars for very specific reasons. Having a situation where VW was caught red-handed and forced to ultimately concede liability helped. But we had to make the case that there would be no environmental solution without active participation of the owners and leases.”
In June, Cabraser was named Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee by Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California in litigation against Fiat Chrysler for ecodiesel emissions fraud – a similar emissions violation to that discovered in Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles.
Regarding the Fiat Chrysler ecodiesel case, Cabraser noted that the number of vehicles in this lawsuit is smaller at 104,000 compared to the VW litigation. “That means this is a less-expensive problem to solve,” stated Cabraser. “If repairing the cars is less complicated, either from a software reflashing or a mechanical standpoint, that saves money. But also we still have the challenge of sufficiently incentivizing owners to have modifications made.”
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. 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).
For information about the compensation options available to you, please read the Court-approved notice carefully, and visit https://www.vwcourtsettlement.com/en/. There you can enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and determine if your vehicle is included. You can also access an Online Claims Portal and get individualized information about what the settlements mean for you. The Online Claims Portal will provide the fastest processing of your claim.
About Elizabeth Cabraser
A name partner and co-founder of Lieff Cabraser, Ms. Cabraser chairs the firm’s personal injury and environmental litigation practice groups. One of the nation’s leading class action litigators and possessing unparalleled expertise in complex civil litigation, she has served as court-appointed lead, co-lead, or class counsel in scores of federal multi-district and state coordinated proceedings. Today, she serves in court-appointed leadership positions in several of the nation’s highest profile civil cases, including a solo leadership role in the VW “Clean Diesel” Emissions case, as well as lead positions in the GM ignition switch defect and Takata defective airbag cases.