What the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Means for Consumers

Volkswagen LemonsVolkswagen, the world’s largest auto manufacturer, recently admitted to cheating its emissions tests in the United States.  VW equipped approximately 500,000 of their TDI vehicles in the United States with sophisticated software that turns off pollution controls when the vehicle is being driven and turns them on when it detects the vehicle is undergoing an emissions test.  With the so-called “defeat device” deactivated, the vehicles can spew pollutant gases into the air, including nitrogen oxide, in amounts as much as 40 times higher than emissions standards.

This Volkswagen emissions scandal affects the Audi A3, Volkswagen Passat, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Golf or Volkswagen Beetle.

In the wake of this scandal, consumers have been left wondering what this means and how it affects their purchased or leased VW vehicles. The EPA has said that VW owners may continue to use their vehicles for the time being.  There is a possibility, however, that some states may require proof that the vehicle has been repaired to comply with emissions standards.   California has some of the toughest emissions standards in the country, and may require proof that the issue has been fixed before allowing VW diesel cars to be registered or renewed.

VW’s conduct is a violation of State Consumer Protection Laws and State and Federal Warranty Laws.  Moreover, VW’s conduct has diminished the value of all Volkswagen TDI vehicles. Our firm is actively representing VW consumers’ rights and assisting these consumers in recovering their losses from Volkswagen.

Many VW consumers are being contacted to join a class action lawsuit against VW.  In our opinion, consumers’ cases should be handled on an individual basis rather than through a class action so that each consumer can obtain the maximum recovery. Class actions involve thousands of claimants in a single lawsuit, which often times do not substantially benefit the individual class members. Consumers should be aware that they do not have to join a class action to assert their claims against Volkswagen.

Even if VW undertakes a campaign to remedy its fraud, VW consumers may still have suffered financial harm.  The affected vehicles will have a lower resale value because of their noncompliance with emissions standards.  Also, performance will suffer if the vehicles are retrofitted with technology to address the excessive emissions.  Volkswagen consumers who take their cars to fix this issue may notice a decrease in fuel efficiency and/or overall performance.

Fortunately, there are both Federal and State laws that protect the interests of consumers.  The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it easier to enforce warranties on goods, including warranties on vehicles. California offers one of the nation’s most comprehensive Lemon Law, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which covers all vehicles purchased or leased in California with a warranty.  The Song-Beverly Act automatically recognizes warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular use for vehicles sold in California.

If you own or lease a Audi A3, Volkswagen Passat, Jetta, Golf or Beetle, and you are concerned about how the recent emissions scandal might affect you, contact the Lemon Law Experts of Consumer Law Experts today.  We provide individualized service and have represented thousands of consumers with their vehicle fraud and warranty claims.  Protect your rights and your investment with a consultation by calling (877) 885-5366.