SOURCE: Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP

September 23, 2015 08:00 ET

Bernstein Litowitz Announces Nationwide and California Class Action on Behalf of Owners and Lessees of Volkswagen Cars With "Clean Diesel" TDI Engines Designed to Cheat Emissions Tests

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 23, 2015) - The law firm of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, the nation's premier plaintiff class action firm, filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against Volkswagen and certain of its U.S. subsidiaries in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of owners and lessees of Volkswagen cars equipped with the company's "TDI Clean Diesel" engines, model years 2009 to 2015, who were damaged by Volkswagen's admitted illegal practice of installing sophisticated software designed to cheat clean air standards.

Volkswagen has publicly admitted that it falsely promoted its "Clean Diesel" passenger cars as compliant with Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and California emission requirements, while offering consumers superior performance and fuel efficiency. Based on these representations, consumers paid significant premiums over gas engine models -- as much as $7,000. Instead of delivering on its promises, Volkswagen secretly installed sophisticated and illegal software known as a "defeat device" that falsified the vehicles' emissions when undergoing official emissions testing. According to the EPA, the defeat device activates full emissions controls only during testing. At all other times that the vehicle is running, however, the emissions controls are turned off, causing the cars to emit as much as 40 times as much nitrogen oxide pollutants as allowed under applicable laws and regulations. These pollutants contribute to the creation of ozone and smog, and are linked to a range of public health problems, including asthma attacks, other respiratory diseases and premature death. Moreover, Volkswagen's illegal activities have significantly diminished the value of consumers' vehicles and caused other damages.

Volkswagen has admitted installing its "defeat device" in its TDI model Jetta (2009-15), Beetle (2009-15), Golf (2009-15), and Passat (2012-15), as well as the Audi A3 (2009-15). BLB&G is investigating and consulting with top industry experts to determine whether additional vehicle models and model years were affected by the defeat device software. 

Volkswagen has been ordered by the EPA to recall approximately 500,000 affected vehicles to comply with EPA emissions requirements, and has admitted that the problem affects 11 million vehicles worldwide. The Complaint alleges, however, that Volkswagen will not be able to make the affected vehicles comply with emissions standards without substantially degrading vehicle performance, including horsepower and fuel efficiency. As a result, the Complaint seeks, among other relief for class members, restitution, damages, including punitive damages, and an order enjoining Volkswagen from continuing its fraudulent and illegal practices. 

If you purchased, leased or own one of the affected vehicles identified above and would like to discuss your legal rights or interest with respect to the class action lawsuit, please contact Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP (Rachel Felong, Esq.) at (888) 924-1888 or (858) 720-3180, or via e-mail at Rachel.Felong@blbglaw.com.

BLB&G partners Blair Nicholas and Benjamin Galdston are leading the firm's litigation team in the action against Volkswagen. Additional information regarding the Volkswagen case, including a copy of the class action complaint, is available at www.blbglaw.com/volkswagen

BLB&G is widely recognized as one of the leading plaintiff class action law firms worldwide and has recovered over $28 billion on behalf of victims of corporate wrongdoing. More information about BLB&G can be found online at www.blbglaw.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Rachel Felong
    Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    12481 High Bluff Drive
    Suite 300
    San Diego, CA 92130
    Telephone: (858) 720-3180
    Email: rachel.felong@blbglaw.com