Hagens Berman Expands Class-Action Suit Against Volkswagen for Emissions-Cheating Software

Consumer-rights law firm seeking information from vehicle owners

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National consumer-rights law firm, Hagens Berman, filed a class-action
lawsuit against Volkswagen
’s U.S. manufacturer and distributor, and
is continuing to expand its national suit alleging that the automaker
deceived consumers by using software to cheat emissions tests, allowing
its “CleanDiesel” vehicles to emit nitrogen oxides (NOx) at levels 40
times higher than legal limits during normal use.

In the suit filed Sept. 18, 2015 – the first filed against VW regarding
its use of fraudulent software – an owner of a CleanDiesel Volkswagen
accused Volkswagen Group of America of fraudulent concealment, false
advertising and violations of federal and state laws. Hagens Berman has
filed another lawsuit with clients from more than 20 states on Monday,
Sept. 21, 2015, and expects to have cases on file for every state by the
end of this week. The firm expects to have representatives from all
states following an unprecedented response from the first filed

After receiving over a thousand inquiries from outraged owners of VW and
Audi “CleanDiesel” cars, the firm is continuing to expand its lawsuit
and is seeking information from affected owners in all 50 states. If you
own one of the vehicles listed below, contact
our legal team now

According to the EPA, Volkswagen installed its deceptive software,
called a “defeat device,” in at least the following diesel models of its
vehicles: Jetta (model years 2009 – 2015), Beetle (model years 2009 –
2015), Audi A3 (model years 2009 – 2015), Golf (model years 2009 – 2015)
and Passat (model years 2014 – 2015).

The lawsuit states that during normal operation, these vehicles emit NOx
at up to 40 times the standard allowed under U.S. laws and regulations.
During emissions tests, the software in the Volkswagen and Audi diesel
vehicles detects testing, and turns on full emissions controls, but only
during the test.

“The half-a-million people who own these cars are furious, and with good
reason,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “Not only
did they pay more for something they never received, but they’ve been
victim to a tremendous act of deception. Volkswagen marketed these cars
as clean, even calling them ‘CleanDiesel,’ while knowingly implementing
this software to cheat emissions tests. And it chose to target the group
of consumers who care most about being environmentally conscious.”

Berman, who was lead counsel in the $1.6 billion Toyota settlement for
plaintiffs who suffered loss of vehicle value, and took on GM following
its ignition switch defect recalls, said, “The economic loss in this
case against Volkswagen rivals that of GM and Toyota.”

The firm has continued to receive responses from consumers who feel that
Volkswagen has committed consumer fraud, leaving them with either an
illegally polluting car, or a recalled, underperforming vehicle. In both
cases the car is now worth less than what they originally paid. In angry
emails from CleanDiesel owners, consumers have stated:

  • I paid a premium for a Golf TDI because I was promised that it was
    “Clean Diesel.” I was told that the emissions were better than a
    standard gas automobile. In addition, I was also promised high fuel
    economy. I now feel I have been defrauded by these claims.
  • I trusted VW on the performance, handling, efficiency, resale,
    historic durability of diesel, and ‘eco friendliness’ of this car and
    I feel completely deceived. I’m concerned that when it comes time for
    ‘the fix,’ I will be left with a crippled vehicle that has absolutely
    no power or resale value. I’m embarrassed to drive this on the road.
  • We strive to protect the environment and feel that we have been
    completely taken advantage of by VW’s false and misleading advertising.
  • I am leasing a diesel VW Golf. I made a $7,000 down payment and am
    currently paying almost $350/mo for this car. It turns out this car is
    not at all what I thought I was buying. I would never have spent so
    much on a car with such high emissions of harmful gases.

From reference to Volkswagen’s MSRP on its website, vehicle owners who
purchased Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles paid anywhere from $1,000 to
$7,000 more for vehicles with the diesel engines, as opposed to the same
models with standard gas engines.

Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law
firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National
Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm
and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com.
Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.


Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
Ashley Klann, 206-268-9363