“Backfired: When VW Lied To America”

Backfired: When VW Lied To America

New Documentary Captures VW Diesel Emissions Scandal & the Clean Air Movement in California

A new documentary titled “Backfired: When VW Lied To America” will soon be coming to TV screens and movie theaters around the country. Produced by Dale Bell, co-founder of The Media and Policy Center in Burbank, California, the film provides the most detailed video examination to date of the Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud scandal. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Announces That New University Study Finds Fitbit Charge 2 Can Underestimate Heart Rates by As Much As 30 BPM (UPDATED)

Lieff Cabraser Announces That New University Study Finds Fitbit Charge 2 Can Underestimate Heart Rates by As Much As 30 BPM

New Independent Study Confirms That Fitbit’s Heart Rate Monitors Are Highly Inaccurate

SAN FRANCISCO−A team of researchers from the University of Leeds (UK) and TSW xp LAB in Italy have published a new peer-reviewed study on the Fitbit Charge 2 fitness tracker that confirms findings in previous studies that the “PurePulse™” technology used in Fitbit’s popular fitness trackers can be extremely inaccurate during moderate and high-intensity exercise. [Read more…]

Complaints About Automated Robocalls Rose Dramatically in 2017

Complaints Over Automated Robocalls Has Risen in 2017

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report reveals that consumer complaints about harassing unwanted automated telemarketing calls jumped significantly in 2017, and have quadrupled since 2009. There were a total of 4.5 million robocall complaints last year, and the agency received an additional 2.5 million complaints about live telemarketing calls; on average, the FTC received over 375,000 per month. [Read more…]

Fiat Chrysler Hoping for Approval on Vehicle Diesel Emissions Fix

Fiat Chrysler Hoping for Approval on Vehicle Diesel Emissions Fix

A lawyer for automobile manufacturer Fiat Chrysler announced that the company hopes to reach an agreement to fix its diesel vehicles that contributed to pollution in violation of the Clean Air Act by the spring of 2018. At least 104,000 diesel vehicles were allegedly programmed with undisclosed software that allowed for illegal emissions of air polluting chemicals. [Read more…]

New York Times Op-Ed: “Let Consumers Sue Companies”

Scam Fraud Consumer Rights

A powerful op-ed published this week in the New York Times examines recent workings in the House and Senate to fundamentally undermine consumer rights in the United States. The Consumer Financial Protection Board recently created a new rule preventing companies from denying consumers the right to band together and go to court when they are treated unfairly. The rule would act to keep companies from restricting consumer recourse to binding, closed-door arbitration outside the courts and sidestepping the judicial system. [Read more…]

U.S. Regulators Approve of Volkswagen Plan to Fix or Buy Back Vehicles in Emissions Cheating Scandal

U.S. Regulators Approve of Volkswagen Plan to Fix or Buy Back Vehicles in Emissions Cheating Scandal

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.” [Read more…]

Judge Hits Dish Network with Unprecedented $280 Million in Penalties Over Violations of Do-Not-Call Laws

Judge Hits Dish Network with Unprecedented $280 Million in Penalties Over Violations of Do-Not-Call Laws

An Illinois federal judge has awarded $280 million to the federal government and the states of California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio as part of its efforts to permanently block Dish Network LLC and its telemarketing vendors from violating the National “Do-Not-Call” Registry laws. The major satellite service provider allegedly invaded consumers’ privacy by making vast numbers of illegal telemarketing calls without making any efforts to shield recipients who had signed up for the national Do Not Call registry. [Read more…]

Number of Unauthorized Wells Fargo Bank Accounts Significantly Larger Than Initially Reported

Unauthorized Wells Fargo Bank Accounts Significantly Larger Than Initially Reported

Court documents included as part of an imminent class action settlement with Wells Fargo Bank indicate that the banking giant created 1.4 million more phony bank and credit card accounts than it had previously reported. As Law360 notes, “The San Francisco-based bank and a class of account holders estimate that between 2002 and 2017 Wells Fargo employees allegedly opened approximately 3.5 million unauthorized accounts, replacing the previous 2.1 million estimate.”
[Read more…]

FCC Creates Task Force to Block Unwanted Robocalls

FCC Creates Task Force to Block Unwanted Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to move forward in its crackdown on unwanted and intrusive robocalls. Consumers find these automated “robocalls” and text messages to be inherently offensive and harassing, particularly when they are made on a repeat basis, often outside of normal business hours. [Read more…]