Volkswagen has admitted to illegally installing defeat device software in its diesel-powered cars in order to falsely pass emissions inspection tests, as well as to deceive consumers into thinking they were purchasing an environmentally friendly Clean Diesel vehicle.
The Volkswagen emissions scandal affects 11 million vehicles worldwide, with more than 500,000 of the affected vehicles sold in the United States since 2009.
If you or someone you know has purchased a Volkswagen vehicle that may be equipped with emissions cheating software, contact the Cincinnati recall attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy to learn more about your rights, and how well fight to protect them.
WHAT IS DEFEAT DEVICE SOFTWARE AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
In September 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Volkswagen had installed a specific type of software in its diesel-powered vehicles that could detect when the vehicles were being inspected by state or EPA regulators.
When the software detected an inspection, it would activate the vehicles emissions controls in order to pass state and federal clean air emissions standards. Once the software detected the vehicles were on the road, it would turn off all emissions controls, purportedly to enhance the vehicles performance.
WHAT PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY THE AFFECTED VEHICLES?
Because the vehicles equipped with the software did not have working emissions control systems during normal driving situations, they released as much as 40 times more pollution than what is permitted under the Clean Air Act. This excess pollution includes high levels of nitrogen oxide which deteriorates the ozone, creates smog, and is linked to a range of health problems such as asthma, other respiratory diseases, and premature death.
Furthermore, vehicle owners have been left with plummeting vehicle values and the inability to resell their vehicles. Volkswagen class action lawsuits have already been filed across the country accusing the automaker of fraud and breach of contract.
WHAT VEHICLES ARE AFFECTED BY THE VOLKSWAGEN EMISSIONS LAWSUIT?
The affected VW vehicles include:
- 2009-2015 Jetta, Beetle, and Golf
- 2009-2015 Audi A3
- 2014-2015 Passat
In November, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that 3-liter V-6 engines produced by VW were also affected. The following 3-liter vehicles were found to also have the cheating software installed:
- 2015-2016 VW Touareg
- 2015-2016 Audi A6, A7, A8 and Q5
- 2014-2016 Porsche Cayenne
Volkswagen announced that it will begin recalling the above-listed vehicles in January, 2016. All recalled vehicles will need a software update, while some vehicles will require additional replacement parts.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I OWN A VOLKSWAGEN WITH DEFEAT DEVICE SOFTWARE?
First, you should contact O’Connor, Acciani and Levy to ask about your legal rights and to see if you are eligible to file a lawsuit. As a Volkswagen customer, you were deceived and defrauded, and you may be eligible for compensation.
If you are unsure if your Volkswagen car is affected by the recall, locate the vehicle identification number (VIN) on your vehicle and visit Safercar.gov to search the NHTSA recall database. Additionally, you can visit Volkswagen’s website to search by VIN, as all auto manufacturers are required by law to have this information available for consumers.
The product liability lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani, and Levy can help fight for your legal rights by holding Volkswagen liable for their fraudulent actions.