Alabama has announced it is joining at least 27 states in an investigation of potential vehicle emissions fraud committed by Volkswagen. The multi-state probe plans to subpoena Volkswagen to learn more about the company’s diesel vehicle emissions.
“We take any allegations of consumer fraud very seriously and will review the representations made by Volkswagen to its diesel customers in Alabama,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
The following states, including Alabama, have announced participation in the Volkswagen fraud probe: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Volkswagen started implementing emissions cheating technology for its diesel powered vehicles in 2008 that sense when the vehicle is being tested for emissions compliance and drastically cut nitrogen oxide emissions to a small fraction of what they actually are. As a result, Volkswagen appeared to be following federal emissions guidelines, but in reality, was far exceeding it with pollutants emitting at 10 to 40 times the maximum allowable rate.
The following diesel passenger cars are impacted by the Volkswagen emissions fraud:
- Jetta (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Beetle (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Audi A3 (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Golf (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Passat (Model Years 2014-2015)
If the federal investigation confirms what is suspected of the automaker, Volkswagen may face fines up to $37,500 per car, totaling approximately $18 billion for lying about its diesel emissions.
Montgomery, Ala.-based Beasley Allen Law Firm has joined other firms in filing a nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of Volkswagen owners impacted by the automaker’s deliberate deception. Considering Volkswagen’s dishonesty is expected to hurt the actual and perceived value of the affected vehicles, the class action lawsuit hopes to address the losses.
“Any emissions system involves a trade-off between performance and clean exhaust. All else equal, a cleaner engine produces less power and has worse fuel economy,” W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, III, principal and Consumer Fraud section head for Beasley Allen explained. “VW let the diesel engines run a little dirtier to squeeze out more power or better mileage. Reversing the cheat through the recall would take away whatever performance gains the cheat provided. The bottom line is, the consumer is not getting what he paid for.”
If you would like more information about joining the class action lawsuit, fill out the “Contact Us” form on this website.