Volkswagen Class Action

For more Information, call 805-564-2444

Cappello & Noël has filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America on behalf of California Volkswagen diesel automobile owners who now face loss of vehicle value, decreased resale opportunities and degradation of vehicle performance because of Volkswagen circumventing emission test procedures to produce misleading pollution results.

Models & Years Affected:

  • Volkswagen Golf (2010-2015 model years)
  • Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen (2015 model year)
  • Volkswagen Jetta (2009-2015 model years)
  • Volkswagen Jetta Sportswagen (2009-2014 model years)
  • Volkswagen Beetle (2012-2015 model years)
  • Volkswagen Beetle Convertible (2012-2015 model years)
  • Volkswagen Passat (2012-2015 model years)
  • Audi A3 (2010-2015 model years)

  • Overview:

    On September 18, 2015, Volkswagen acknowledged that it used software in Volkswagen and Audi branded diesel vehicles that bypassed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards for certain air pollutants. This software or “defeat device,” turned on the full emissions controls only during emissions testing; when the car was driven normally, the effectiveness of the emissions pollution control devices was greatly reduced.

    For over a year, Volkswagen claimed the discrepancy between the pollution test results and pollution produced from the cars while on the road was because of technical issues. Only when the EPA threatened to withhold approval on 2016 Volkswagen and Audi models did Volkswagen decide to come clean.

    Consumers who own these autos were unaware that their vehicles, contrary to what they had been promised when the cars were purchased, were emitting nitrogen oxides (NOx) at up to 40 times the EPA standard. Defeat devices are illegal under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). An estimated 50,000 Californians have purchased diesel Volkswagens and Audis since model year 2009.

    Related Information:

    Experts believe that Volkswagen may have difficulty bringing the cars up to emission standards while still offering high fuel economy and the same performance features.

    German Ministers Were Reportedly Warned of VW Test-Beating Software
    Fox News, September 24, 2015

    Here’s What Volkswagen Did And How They Got Caught
    Business Insider, September 23, 2015

    VW Diesel Emissions Recall: What You Need To Know In 10 Questions, September 21, 2015

    How was the fraud uncovered?

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) enforces California vehicle regulations through certification, compliance and enforcement programs. It regularly tests automobiles (as does the EPA) to ensure their emissions performance is as expected throughout their life. CARB began to suspect an emissions problem in Volkswagen diesel vehicles after conferring with European regulators and when tests conducted by the International Council for Clean Transportation and researchers at West Virginia University substantiated those concerns.

    Why file a class action in California?

    Cappello & Noël chose to file in California State Court because there are California entities that worked with Volkswagen that claimed Volkswagen emissions controls were meeting government standards.

    The companies, also named in the lawsuit, are Solazyme, Inc. with headquarters in South San Francisco and Amyris, Inc., based in Emeryville. In partnership with Volkswagen, the two measured the environmental impact of precommercial renewable diesel formulas with TDI® Clean Diesel technology installed in 2012 diesel Volkswagen models. A June 2015 Volkswagen news release stated that the two companies’ “initial analysis found that advanced renewable fuels in the test offered comparable performance to standard crude-based diesel fuel blends while producing less CO2 emissions on average.” We believe these entities along with the Volkswagen knew the numbers were rigged.

    Why would Volkswagen install software in its cars to intentionally mislead its customers and the EPA?

    Volkswagen made claims about these cars that they knew were untrue to entice people to buy. It spent millions of marketing dollars touting the cars as “clean diesel.” If the cars, in fact, could not meet CARB and EPA standards they could not be sold in the U.S. and particularly in California with its tough air pollution regulations. By deceiving the public, they could continue to sell their cars. Ultimately, however, because of Volkswagen’s misdeeds, class members have been left with automobiles that are not only harming our environment, but are currently of little or no value.

    The lawsuit is charging the defendants with fraudulent concealment, violation of California’s False Advertising Act, violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law and other causes of action.

    Peter Park, et al vs. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., SB-VAL (Santa Barbara Volkswagen), Solazyme, Inc, Amyris, Inc., et al, Superior Court for the State of California, Santa Barbara Superior Court,  Case No. 15CV03138, September 21, 2015, Volkswagen class action complaint – Click for the full complaint.

    About Our Firm

    Cappello & Noël is nationally recognized as a champion of individuals and small businesses in litigation against financial institutions, multi-billion-dollar corporations, toxic polluters and big government. Its class action practice has settled and tried cases that have resulted in millions of dollars in in compensation to class members.

    Contact Us

    If you live in California and own a Volkswagen or Audi diesel vehicle (model and years listed above), please fill out and submit the form below or call 805-564-2444. Cappello & Noël will review your information immediately at no cost or obligation. All information will be kept confidential.

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    Volkswagen Pollutant Emission Class Action News:

    Volkswagen Suspends 9 Managers Over Diesel Scandal
    CNN, December 10, 2015

    Biofuel Makers May Have Known About Volkswagen Emissions Rigging for Years, September 25, 2015

    Volkswagen Owners Speak Out About Diesel Emissions Scandal
    KEYT-TV September 24, 2015

    Volkswagen Owners in Santa Barbara County Sue Automaker Over Emissions Cheating
    Pacific Coast Business Times, September 21, 2015

    Class Action Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Local VW Drivers
    KEYT-TV, September 21, 2015

    VW Rocked by Emissions Scandal as Prosecutors Come Calling
    ABC News, September 21, 2015

    Volkswagen Told to Recall Nearly 500,000 Vehicles
    CNBC, September 18, 2015

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