Girard Gibbs LLP, a leading national litigation firm, announced today it has filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen [VOW3.DE] alleging that the automotive manufacturer intentionally installed software on diesel vehicles designed to cheat emissions tests.
Both state and federal laws in the United States impose vehicle emissions limits, which in recent years led to a marked decline in sales of diesel passenger cars. With its 2009 Jetta, Volkswagen, which recently surpassed Toyota as the world's largest automaker, introduced "clean diesel" vehicles marketed as being better for the environment, and it soon expanded this "clean diesel" technology to other models.
The lawsuit brought by Girard Gibbs alleges that earlier this month Volkswagen admitted to federal regulators that its diesel vehicles are equipped with software designed to circumvent emissions tests. The software detects when the vehicles are undergoing testing and automatically engages the vehicles' pollution controls. When the vehicles are not being tested, however, the vehicles operate in "road calibration" mode, which does not entail the use of the pollution controls.
By falsifying test results, Volkswagen was able to sell cars emitting 10-40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant known to cause smog and a variety of health problems, according to the lawsuit. On September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a Notice of Violation to the automaker about the emissions, and the company has indicated that the software has been installed in 11 million of its diesel vehicles.
"These Volkswagen vehicles should never have been sold, and certainly should not have spent the past six years on American roads polluting our air," said Eric Gibbs, one of the founding partners of Girard Gibbs and the lead attorney on the case. "It is critical that the civil justice system hold companies that engage in such conduct accountable. Not only does this kind of fraud harm consumers and the environment, it unfairly and negatively impacts competition, which is what drives our free market system. People should not stand for it."
The lawsuit alleges that Volkswagen equipped the following diesel vehicles with the software designed to cheat the emissions tests:
- 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta (including the Jetta Sportswagen)
- 2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf (including the Golf Sportswagen)
- 2010-2015 Audi A3
- 2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle (including the Beetle Convertible)
- 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat
People who own or lease one of these vehicles and wish to learn more about the courses of action available to them, including the potential to join Girard Gibbs' class action lawsuit, may contact the firm by calling (877) 647-7134 or submitting a form on its website.
Girard Gibbs' attorneys have 20 years of experience advocating for consumers against auto manufacturers. In previous litigation against Volkswagen, the firm obtained cash reimbursements for drivers of vehicles with defective ignition coils in the 2001-2003 Passat, Jetta, Audi, and other vehicles. More recently, Girard Gibbs' attorneys have served as court-appointed counsel on behalf of consumers in major litigation against Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and automotive manufacturers.
About Girard Gibbs
Girard Gibbs LLP is a national litigation firm representing plaintiffs in class and collective actions in state and federal courts, and in arbitration matters worldwide. Consistently ranked among the top law firms for mass tort and class-action litigation, Girard Gibbs serves individuals, institutions, and business clients in cases involving securities, antitrust, personal injury, whistleblower laws, consumer protection, and employment laws.
Zumado Public Relations
Nick Gaffney, 415-732-7801