Volkswagen and U.S. environmental regulators have announced the government’s approval of the agreement for the German automaker to fix or buy back the diesel vehicles involved in VW’s illegal emissions cheating scandal. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the plan will involve approximately 326,000 VW vehicles sold between 2009 and 2014, “the first generation of the ‘Clean Diesel’ cars with 2.0-liter TDI engines, including the Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Audi A3.”
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.
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 pollutants well in excess of U.S. clean air standards. “Investigators determined that the cars emitted more than 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide, which can cause respiratory problems in humans,” noted the Times.
The approved fix of VW diesel vehicles will involve software and hardware changes, with technicians erasing the defeat device software and replacing it with a new one that will accurately detect emission controls. According to the Times, “Retrofitting the older ‘Generation 1’ cars to meet U.S. air quality standards was an engineering challenge for VW because the cars were not designed to meet those standards in the first place.”
Volkswagen will be spending more than $20 billion to settle this global emissions fraud scandal.
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. A similar issue has come to light with regard to emissions improprieties in Fiat Chrysler Jeep and Dodge vehicles, though that case is in its earliest stages.
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 owners and lessees of VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles, please read the Court-approved notice carefully. Visit vwcourtsettlement.com/en/ where you can enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and confirm that 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.