The worlds largest automaker, Volkswagen, has admitted to using defeat device software to evade emissions tests in the United States, allowing it to appear as though its diesel vehicles are abiding by emissions standards and regulations.
Approximately 11 million vehicles around the world have been equipped with the deceitful software that cheats emissions standards. The software was programmed to detect testing conditions and kicks on to limit emissions during tests and then kicks off during regular driving. In reality, the vehicles emit 40 times the legal standard for harmful chemicals.
The company has admitted its wrongdoing and agreed to recall almost 500,000 vehicles in the United States. The recall includes 2009-2015 Jetta, Golf, and Beetle; 2014-2015 Passat; and 2009-2015 Audi A3.
Dealers have been ordered to stop selling the vehicles involved in the scandal and Volkswagen will not roll out its new line of 2016 diesel vehicles.
The company could face a fine of up to $18 billion from U.S. regulators, which would equate to approximately $37,500 per vehicle.
The automaker has set aside an initial amount of $7.3 billion to cover expected fines and other fallout from the scandal. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn also announced his resignation from the company, though he maintained that he did no wrong and did not know about the cheating.
Owners of the popular diesel vehicles are outraged by the company’s deceitful practices. The vehicles have been marketed for years as clean diesel and were purchased by many environmentally conscious consumers. Many have accused the automaker of fraud and deception and claim that the value of the vehicles is now diminished. Several lawsuits have been filed against the American arm of the company.
This confession of wrongdoing comes just as General Motors has settled a criminal case against the company for hiding a safety defect for more than a decade.
These two instances question the trust we place in companies who produce defective products and intentionally deceive regulators and consumers. If you have been injured because of this type of deception, our personal injury lawyers in Columbus can help you get the compensation you deserve.