WV Volkswagen Emissions Attorneys File Cases for Emissions Tests Fraud due to Use of Defeat Devices
For years, car owners, including those in West Virginia (WV), have put their trust in the “clean diesel” technology of Volkswagen. Car owners believed Volkswagen’s pitch that its passenger cars were able to harness the fuel efficiency and power of diesel while keeping emissions low, well within or below legal limits. But in 2015, a group of scientists at West Virginia University discovered that all was not as it seemed: Volkswagen was cheating on the emissions test. As a result, WV Volkswagen emissions attorneys all over the country have filed lawsuits to obtain compensation for U.S. owners of the affected cars.
Investigations into Volkwagen’s Emissions Tests Fraud
Following the WVU discovery, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated further and reported that Volkswagen had equipped approximately 600,000 vehicles with software to cheat on emissions tests. The software, called a “defeat device,” was designed to give off significantly fewer pollutants during tests than during normal driving conditions.
Volkswagen’s Clean Diesel engines are now known to emit up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide emissions—an air pollutant that can cause serious respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, which can cause premature death.
Volkswagen’s customers were intentionally deceived into paying a premium for “green” cars, and dealers were tricked into promoting products that emitted pollutants well beyond the government standard. These are all violations to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which prohibits the use of defeat devices.
WV Volkswagen Emissions Attorneys File Cases Against the Carmaker
Many U.S. car owners had purchased Volkswagen’s cars precisely because they were supposed to be environmentally friendly. The news that their cars were actually emitting pollutants far in excess of the acceptable governmental standard caused outrage. Shortly after the news broke, Volkswagen emissions attorneys began filing claims on behalf of the car owners, seeking buybacks, refunds, and other compensation.
Government agencies in the U.S. have also filed suits against the carmaker. The West Virginia Attorney General filed suit against Volkswagen in 2015, alleging breach of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act. Also as a result of the emissions tests fraud, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a civil enforcement suit against Volkswagen under the Clean Air Act. That claim was settled in stages in 2017.
What Volkswagen Models Are Equipped with Defeat Devices?
The EPA named a total of 16 Volkswagen models that have defeat devices resulting in emissions tests fraud. The carmaker sold approximately 600,000 units of these 2009–2016 models. Here are the 2.0-liter diesel engine vehicle models equipped with a defeat device:
- 2009–2015 Jetta;
- 2009–2014 Jetta SportWagen;
- 2012–2015 Beetle;
- 2012–2015 Beetle Convertible;
- 2010–2015 Audi A3;
- 2010–2015 Golf;
- 2015 Golf Sportwagen; and
- 2012–2015 Passat.
Volkswagen also admitted that a defeat device is also installed in all of these 3.0-liter diesel engine models:
- 2009–2016 Volkswagen Touareg;
- 2013–2016 Porsche Cayenne;
- 2014–2016 Audi A6 Quattro;
- MY 2014–2016 Audi A7 Quattro;
- 2014–2016 Audi A8;
- 2014–2016 Audi A8L;
- 2014–2016 Audi Q5; and
- 2009–2016 Audi Q7.
Need Help from WV Volkswagen Emissions Attorneys?
If you own any of the vehicle models mentioned above, it is important that you seek assistance from experienced WV Volkswagen emissions attorneys to determine your right to compensation. The attorneys at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC are committed to protecting your rights and your health. Contact us today online or by call Hendrickson & Long at (304) 346-5500!