Corpus Christi Volkswagen Lawsuit Lawyers
VW Lawsuits & Recalls Following Global Emissions Fraud
In an interesting moment that ignited what we now know today as the Volkswagen global emissions fraud, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) elected to publicly brief the press on the outstanding charges being filed against Volkswagen Auto Group, while noting directly that both Audi and VW should expect any pending EPA fines also to include separate mass liability relating to regulatory fines from other national level regulatory bodies, as well as noting the blankly that both companies will face extensive consumer lawsuits.
Problematically, however, the Volkswagen recall process sand negotiations with the EPA have yet to prove forthcoming, with more rounds of unofficial statements from both EPA and VW officials that a deal was near conclusion as late as January 8, 2016, nearly 4 months after the VW company admitted total liability for utilizing a slew of illegal methods to sell nearly 600,000 non-EPA compliant vehicles to consumers. In turn, while VW executives and EPA regulators have taken months to fail to come to a coherent recall plan for U.S. customers of Audi, Volkswagen, or Porsche TDI clean diesel engine vehicles, many states and individual drivers have taken legal matters proactively via filing a Volkswagen lawsuit as an individual plaintiff, or joining any number of ongoing class action or multi-district litigation style claims cases being filed against Volkswagen and others.
Interested in finding out if you have grounds for a lawsuit or are included in a class action? Call the Corpus Christi VW lawsuit attorneys at the Bandas Law Firm at (361) 238-2789. Your initial consultation is free!
Other Instances of Potential Emissions Fraud
Globally, Volkswagen inserted emissions defeat software configurations and occasionally additional hardware to vehicles to ensure passing diesel emissions testing in any market for which a given diesel was destined. The U.S. markets have historically proven extremely difficult to penetrate for consumer diesel vehicles, with the recent forays and gains made by Audi and Volkswagen essentially recurving out a non-gasoline alternative in diesel, comparable to a car class all its own.
VW was not the first company to face regulatory and consumer lawsuits under particularly similar circumstances historically including:
- In the 1970s, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and Volkswagen all faced direct accusations from regulators that emissions mechanical defeat mechanisms were present in vehicles, which companies plausibly denied at that time.
- In 1996, GM faced then record fines of nearly $11 million dollars, while ultimately being forced to recall nearly 470,000 domestically sold cars that were sold with disengaged emissions controls in an era with little to no EPA oversight.
- In 1998, Honda faced its fiscal liabilities for resolving emissions tastings methods in the U.S. markets, ultimately costing the company nearly $267 million to resolve claims with state and federal regulators.
Tracking Progress of Early Volkswagen Lawsuits
In the 2015-2016 VW scandals, there are at least 11 million known cars impacted by the delayed recall process in the scandal. The total claims value, should all potential plaintiffs file suit, would be nearly immeasurable. However, in the largest single lawsuit filed by a plaintiff, at least, concerning publicity in the media, were those grounds to file suit claimed by the Justice Department against Volkswagen in federal district court, predicated predominantly a plethora of U.S. and international environmental law violations. However, for consumers and current drivers of these vehicles, it was quite noticeable the negligible attention that was proffered to the actual, experienced economic and other losses sustained by the owners and original purchasers of a defective product entailing significant false advertising and bad faith representations to all entities, including consumers, others business affiliations, and of course regulators.
Accepting Cash Donations from VW
In a bizarre PR tactic only fitting for a case of this magnitude of extraordinary, VW began offering all existing owners $1,000 as a conciliatory payment, presumably as a means of stemming the tide of discontent relating to unresolved recall plans. However, for VW and Audi there was a risk mitigation route involved as well, in which nearly 25% of existing Audi and Volkswagen clean diesel drivers expressed interest in a trade-in program involving a $2,000 cash incentive to do so.
Ultimately, given that this was the first tender from VW to any consumers, including those that had filed lawsuits, with the results of the majority of extant claims cases being resolved, future offers from VW and Audi should be considered likewise from the perspective of whether one can retain the right to future claims lawsuits, or how a given conciliatory payment or additional loyalty deal from VW and Audi may impact an individuals’ ongoing or proposed legal action against known liable parties.
Based on the statements, credible assessments in the media and government noted VW’s approach to consumers as unorthodox, but more disconcertingly, indicative of a recall process far from actionable repairs is occurring. As of January 2016, any cash payments made by VW to consumers, if accepted, are not a settlement offer or linked to extant potential legal claims, but rather distributed as a mechanism to compensate owners for their time and losses, while waiting on the larger resolution for many of the same actionable issues.
Trade-In Deals for Audi, VW & Porsche Owners
Additionally, generous trade-in deals were offered to all existing Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche vehicle that has the emission defeating software in the 2.0L engines and 3.0L engine, respectively. Early news media reports on the issue hold that as many as 25% of consumers will take advantage of this offer, thus reducing the burden of any proposed recall involving retrofitting vehicle exhaust systems on Volkswagen and Audi, both of whom have struggled to reach a reasonable recall settlement with the EPA from the start of the scandal, which initially saw calls for a total buyback of all emissions non-compliant vehicles, a staggering 550,000 or more, at the cost of a staggering nearly $18 billion dollars. As of January 2016, this claims case has not been resolved.
Finally, as of mid-January, the most celebrated victory in the legal battles against VW Auto Group comes in the form of a lawsuit filed the by the EPA in federal courts against VW and others for illegal air pollution. While the EPA’s public legal battle against VW has forced the company’s hand in admitting culpability for the nearly 6-year fraud, consumers have yet to hear coherent answers from either of the primary litigants on the projected repair dates for their vehicles.
Consumer Lawsuits Are Growing in Number & Strength
None of the outstanding official statements from either the EPA, VW, Audi, or other U.S. regulators have indicated a strong, sincere interest in following through with protecting the consumer rights of nearly 1% of Americans who either drove or rode as passengers each year since 2011. In this, when a vehicle is a large family investment in many instances, individual owners alone do not suffer from the consequences of the now non-compliant diesel engine vehicle.
Moreover, the length of time associated with the general consumer protections fraud case is often remarked in passing yet fails to mention just how extensively these non-compliant and illegal vehicles penetrated nearly every state in the U.S., with millions of users each year. In this sense, seeing no resolution in sight, consumers began filing claims in any perceivable, reliable forum for a litany of causes of action as early as September 2015.
As time has progressed, more nuanced and mature cause of action began emerging in most to many claims including the right to file for compensation in a Volkswagen lawsuit due to:
- False advertising and violations of numerous contracts laws in terms of breach of contract and duty owed to operate in good faith with consumers on a number of items of the vehicles in question.
- Claims relating to contracts law and securities, as criminal conduct allegedly by numerous corporate executives and others likely resulted in the program known as the emissions defeat software config model, which ultimately, when revealed, caused investors to lose almost as high as 50% of their share value.
- Losses in economic value to the vehicles due to the scandal, in the immediate aftermath of the announcement. Ultimately, as many as a quarter of owners may seek to mitigate individual financial losses by returning the vehicles to Volkswagen or Audi directly alongside generous trade-in terms.
Contact a Corpus Christi VW Lawsuit Attorney at the Bandas Law Firm
To recap, any single individual owner, whether prior or current, as well as any prior or current lessees, may have more than ample grounds to file a Volkswagen lawsuit. Specifically, as the parent company of both Audi, Porsche, and the Volkswagen U.S. market vehicles, multiple entities could potentially be named as defendants in an individual or class action lawsuit against the VW Auto group company, others such as the Audi and Porsche companies, and finally, the liable insurers of this multinational corporations, as well as other parties complicit in perpetrating the massive emissions testing fraud.
To discuss your right to file suit, contact the Bandas Law Firm. From our offices in Corpus Christi, we serve Nueces County and all of Texas and the U.S.
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