Legal experts say that the lawsuit filed against Volkswagen AG by the U.S. Department of Justice could cost the German automaker tens of billions of dollars in fines and penalties. The Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against Volkswagen in January 2016 in connection with the companyâ€™s emissions cheating on VW and Audi diesel models.
Volkswagen faces allegations that it violated the Clean Air Act by installing a â€śdefeat deviceâ€ť on roughly 580,000 VW and Audi â€śTDI Clean Dieselâ€ť models sold in the U.S. Legal experts say that Volkswagen could be subject to fines of more than $90 billion in connection with the Justice Department lawsuit, or about $37,500 per vehicle per violation of the law, the maximum allowed under the Clean Air Act.
Although the Justice Department could elect to lower the penalties it seeks to impose on Volkswagen, officials have stated that they donâ€™t plan to let the company off the hook for its egregious acts of fraud in connection with the diesel emissions cheating scandal. â€śThe United States will pursue all appropriate remedies against Volkswagen to redress the violations of our nation’s clean air laws,” says Assistant Attorney General John Cruden.
Attorneys commenting on the Volkswagen litigation say that because of Volkswagenâ€™s admissions of wrongdoing in connection with the Dieselgate scandal, it will be difficult for the company to successfully defend itself in court against the Justice Department allegations. Volkswagen admitted that it misled consumers and regulators by installing the â€śdefeat deviceâ€ť on its VW and Audi models in September 2015.
Experts say that Volkswagen may seek to negotiate a lower settlement with the Justice Department by claiming that if it were subject to penalties and fines in the full amount, it could lead to layoffs or even bankruptcy. However, even if a settlement with the Justice Department is reached, Volkswagen still faces hundreds of lawsuits filed by VW, Audi, and Porsche diesel owners who purchased one of the vehicles involved in the Dieselgate recall.
Volkswagen is currently working with the EPA to develop a plan to fix the emissions issues with the recalled diesel models sold in the U.S. However, this fix will likely mean a drastic reduction in the performance and gas mileage of these vehicles, potentially costing owners significant losses in the value of their cars.
Owners of one of the Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche â€śTDI Clean Dieselâ€ť models that were recalled by VW may be eligible file a lawsuit against the German automakers. As Volkswagenâ€™s admissions in the Dieselgate scandal have made clear, the company knew for years that it was selling vehicles that failed to meet U.S. emissions standards and fraudulently lied to its customers by touting the eco-friendly technology of these vehicles.
The vehicles involved in Volkswagenâ€™s initial recall announcement included the 2010-2015 Audi A3 TDI, the 2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, the 2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI, the 2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, the 2009-2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sportswagen TDI, and the 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI. In November 2015, the EPA announced that it had uncovered additional diesel models sold by Volkswagen that were also affected by the emissions cheating problem. These models included the 2009-2016 Volkswagen Touareg TDI, the 2014-2016 Audi A6 Quattro, the 2014-2016 Audi A7 Quattro, the 2014-2016 Audi A8 Quattro, the 2014-2016 Audi A8L Quattro, the 2014-2016 Audi Q5 Quattro, the 2009-2016 Audi Q7, and the 2013-2015 Porsche Cayenne.
The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has tried or settled hundreds of cases involving product liability for our clients in recent years. Our lawyers have filed several lawsuits against Volkswagen in connection with the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal. Our firm expects to be involved in the lawsuits against VW throughout the litigation process.
If you purchased or leased one of the Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche â€śTDI Clean Dieselâ€ť models that were implicated in the Dieselgate scandal, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for the lost value of your vehicle. For more information about the lawsuits filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson against Volkswagen and to find out whether you qualify to join the Dieselgate litigation, contact our law firm by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few questions about your case to get started.