Volkswagen (VW), the world’s largest manufacturer of vehicles, was recently caught cheating official U.S. nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions tests. Between 2009 and 2015, the car maker rigged close to 11 million TDI diesel vehicles worldwide with secret software, or “defeat devices.”
A defeat device senses when a vehicle is undergoing an official emissions test based on the position of the steering wheel, engine speed, temperature and intake pressure. During emissions testing, the device places the vehicle’s emission control system in “clean mode” to regulate NOx levels to meet exhaust requirements.
During normal operating conditions, however, the device turns off “clean mode,” thereby permitting the vehicle to emit NOx pollutants way beyond legal limits. Experts say that if the vehicles always operated in “clean mode,” their performance would be severely affected.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused VW of intentionally violating the Clean Air Act after West Virginia University researchers found that VW TDI diesel vehicles produced very high levels of NOx. The car maker initially denied the allegations but eventually admitted to installing defeat devices in approximately 500,000 of the following diesel vehicles sold in the United States between 2009 and 2015:
- Audi A3 (2010-2015)
- Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016)
- Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016)
- Audi A8/A8L (2014-2016)
- Audi Q5 (2014-2016)
- Audi Q7 (2013-2015)
- Porsche Cayenne (2014-2016)
- Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle Convertible (2012-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf (2010-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf SportWagen (2015)
- Volkswagen Jetta, Jetta SportWagen (2009-2015)
- Volkswagen Passat (2012-2015)
- Volkswagen Touareg (2013-2016)
Find Out If You Have A Claim
In light of this blatant fraud by VW, the affected vehicles are non-compliant with Federal clean-air standards and resale values have plummeted. In some states, the affected vehicles cannot be traded-in or re-sold. VW has even gone so far as to issue Stop-Sale orders to dealerships for some of their more popular models.
Owners of these vehicles who believed they were being environmentally conscious for buying an automobile falsely advertised by VW as eco-friendly may be entitled to compensation. Currently, there are over 34 class action lawsuits against Volkswagen in progress to compensate owners for the vehicle’s “diminution of value.” But, you also have the option to opt-out of a class action and pursue compensation in an individual fraud lawsuit against Volkswagen. If your vehicle is affected, contact the Tampa Volkswagen emissions attorneys at Lieser Skaff Alexander to discuss your legal rights and options.