U.S. sales of Volkswagen brand automobiles fell more than nine-percent last month. The August sales decline was the 10th consecutive month that sales of VW vehicles have declined since word of the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal was made public.
Automotive sales experts say that one of the key reasons for this decline is the diesel-powered vehicles that Volkswagen has taken off the market in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal. VWâ€™s â€śTDI Clean Dieselâ€ť models accounted for about 20% of the companyâ€™s new vehicle sales prior to the companyâ€™s emissions cheating with these vehicles being made public.
In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed a â€śdefeat deviceâ€ť on roughly 11 million VW and Audi diesel-powdered models worldwide. These software defeat devices were designed to fool emissions testing equipment into thinking that Volkswagenâ€™s diesel models released diesel emissions that were within the maximum allowable levels set by the EPA. In fact, these engines emitted pollution levels that were far higher than the amounts allowed under the Clean Air Act.
Thousands of drivers in the U.S. who purchased VW or Audi models involved in the companyâ€™s emissions cheating filed lawsuits against Volkswagen over the lost value of their vehicles. In July 2016, Volkswagen agreed to pay $14.7 billion to settle some of these lawsuits. The company agreed to pay up to $10.03 billion to buy back 475,000 VW and Audi models in the U.S. equipped with a 2.0 liter diesel engine.
Volkswagen also recently agreed to pay more than 650 VW dealers in the U.S. $1.2 billion to compensate them for losses incurred as a result of the Dieselgate scandal. The company stated that it would make cash payments to its dealers and provide additional benefits to help the dealers resolve claims arising out of the Dieselgate litigation.
Volkswagen has attempted to boost its production of electric-powered vehicles in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal. VW executives have stated that they are planning to trim the companyâ€™s current line of roughly 300 models in order to concentrate on producing electric vehicles. However, the billions in payments that VW is expected to make in order to resolve litigation claims by VW and Audi diesel owners, as well as fines to environmental regulators worldwide, have slowed the German automakerâ€™s development of new electric models.
The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed lawsuits on behalf of VW and Audi owners who purchased or leased diesel models affected by the Dieselgate cheating scandal. Our partner, Michael Heygood, was named to the Plaintiffsâ€™ Steering Committee that is overseeing the Multidistrict Litigation (or MDL) in California involving the lawsuits against Volkswagen. Our law firm expects to remain involved throughout the litigation process as we work to achieve the best possible result on behalf of VW and Audi diesel owners who were harmed by Volkswagenâ€™s emissions cheating.
The vehicles included in the Dieselgate recall include the 2009-2015 Audi A3 TDI, the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, the 2016 Audi A7 Quattro, the 2016 Audi A8, the 2016 Audi A8L, the 2016 Audi Q5, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, and the 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI. Emissions â€śdefeat devicesâ€ť have also been discovered on the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5, although so far these vehicles have not been recalled.
If you purchased or leased one of the VW, Audi, or Porsche diesel-powered vehicles involved in the Dieselgate litigation, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about your legal rights. For a free consultation and more information about whether you may be eligible to take legal action, please call us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or follow this link to our free case evaluation form and answer a few simple questions to get started.