Volkswagen Help Center FAQ
How do I know if my Volkswagen is affected?
Do you drive a Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche diesel? If so, then your car may be affected. The EPA has issued two Notices of Violation to Volkswagen regarding many of its so-called “CleanDiesel” vehicles because they emit pollutants at up to 35 times legal limits. Only certain makes and model years are affected. According to the EPA, the affected makes and models are:
- Jetta TDI (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
- Jetta Sportwagen TDI (Model Years 2009 – 2014)
- Beetle TDI and Beetle Convertible TDI (Model Years 2013 – 2015)
- Golf TDI (Model Years 2010 – 2015)
- Golf Sportwagen TDI (Model Year 2015)
- Passat TDI (Model Years 2012 – 2015)
- Touareg TDI (Model Years 2009 – 2016)
- A3 TDI (Model Years 2010 – 2015)
- A6 TDI (Model Years 2014 – 2016)
- A7 TDI (Model Years 2014 – 2016)
- A8 TDI (Model Years 2014 – 2016)
- A8L TDI (Model Years 2014 – 2016)
- Q5 TDI (Model Years 2014 – 2016)
- Q7 TDI (Model Years 2009 – 2016)
- Cayenne TDI (Model Years 2013 – 2016)
Should I take part in the “Volkswagen TDI Customer Goodwill Package” (“Volkswagen Goodwill Package”) VW is offering? Will it affect my rights in the class action against VW?
Volkswagen is currently offering a TDI Goodwill Package to Volkswagen 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI and Volkwsagen 3.0L V-6 TDI vehicles customers. Taking part in the Volkswagen Goodwill Package is optional, but doing so should not affect your rights. This court order confirms Volkswagen’s intent that Volkswagen 2.0 TDI consumers can sign up for the Volkswagen Goodwill Package, knowing there are no strings attached. Specifically, the order says that Volkswagen does “not now and will not in the future contend, in these or any other consumer 2.0L TDI civil lawsuits against them, that any right, claim or interest of any Plaintiff or putative class member is waived, released, or impaired by participation in, or use of, any feature of the Goodwill Package[.]” Since the entry of the order, Volkswagen has clarified on its website that “Affected customers eligible for the Goodwill Package are not required to waive their rights or release or arbitrate their claims against Volkswagen Group of America in order to receive the Package.
What are the Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche Diesel cases about?
When car companies manufacture and market their vehicles, their advertisements and public statements about the cars have to be truthful. The class actions lawsuits allege that Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche fundamentally misrepresented the nature of its diesel cars that it knowingly equipped with a “defeat device” to evade U.S.-based emission standards. Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche marketed these cars as highly fuel efficient and good for the environment because of their reduced emissions. Volkswagen charged consumers a premium mark-up price for these features. U.S. consumers paid more for these Volkswagen cars because they believed Volkswagen’s representations about the cars, and because fuel efficiency and reduced emissions were important to them.
Now, as Volkswagen has acknowledged, in its own words, Volkswagen “betrayed the trust of you, our customers, our employees, our dealers, and the public” because it violated the Environmental Protection Agency’s NOx emission standards. Although Volkswagen marketed these cars as “CleanDiesel,” they were really dirty diesel cars. We allege that by lying about this fundamental aspect of these cars, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche not only committed fraud, but they also violated state consumer protection laws.
What do consumers want to recover in the lawsuits?
Hundreds of angry and concerned consumers from across the U.S. have reached out to Keller Rohrback L.L.P. These consumers are upset because they feel that Volkswagen lied to them, and they did not get the product they thought they’d purchased. Consumers paid a premium for “CleanDiesel” technology, and now have learned that their cars pollute far more than legal limits.
Consumers also believe their cars have lost value because the VW, Audi, and Porsche brands can no longer be trusted, as the cars are not what they were represented to be. Consumers are concerned that any recall “fix” by Volkswagen will either decrease their car’s fuel efficiency or impact their car’s performance. They are also worried about their car’s emissions and the ongoing impact of continuing to drive these cars. They believe that Volkswagen needs to fix this problem, and they want a fair resolution that addresses all of these concerns. If you share these concerns, you are welcome to contact us at VW@kellerrohrback.com.
How long will it take to resolve this case?
It is difficult to know how long this case may take. Our goal is to bring the case to a fair conclusion, but at this time it is difficult to know or predict how long it may take to resolve the case.
How will any settlement in this case be distributed?
If a settlement is reached, the settling parties will propose a distribution plan to the court. The court will evaluate the plan and approve it if it is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. The formula here will likely take into account the amount of the CleanDiesel premium in price for each model of car, the age of the car, and the expected drop in value, performance and efficiency of the car.
What action has Keller Rohrback taken?
Keller Rohrback filed the first multi-plaintiff complaint in this action on September 20, 2015, two days after the defeat device scheme came to light, and now has filed a number of lawsuits on behalf of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche consumers in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Keller Rohrback’s clients include professors, health care providers, attorneys, and environmentalists. Among other actions to date, Keller Rohrback helped negotiate a stipulated order with Volkswagen confirming that consumers may sign up for the Volkswagen Goodwill Package with no strings attached. Specifically, the Order says that Volkswagen does “not now and will not in the future contend, in these or any other consumer 2.0L TDI civil lawsuits against them, that any right, claim or interest of any Plaintiff or putative class member is waived, released, or impaired by participation in, or use of, any feature of the Goodwill Package[.]”
If I don’t like the outcome of the class action, can I sue VW on my own?
If a class action is certified, you may opt out of any settlement that is reached and bring your own case. If, however, you do not opt out of the class or a proposed class settlement, then you will not be able to sue Volkswagen for the same claims that were resolved in the class action.
If I lease my car, can I still be part of the litigation?
Can I sell my car and still be part of the lawsuit?
Yes. If you choose to sell your car, please keep detailed records of the transaction as your loss in resale value may be recoverable in the class action.
If I financed my car, do I need to continue making payments on it?
Yes. Despite the fact that VW has committed fraud, you still have separate agreements with the financial institution. Stopping your payments could result in harm to your credit, repossession of your car, and other adverse consequences.
What if I sold or sell my car, can I still be part of the litigation?
Yes, if you sold your car after Sept. 18, 2015, you may still be part of the litigation. If you sold it before news of VW’s fraud became public, you will likely not be part of the lawsuit. However, only current owners or lessors can currently take part in the “Goodwill Package.”
Do I need to take my car in for its regularly scheduled emissions inspection?
Yes. You need to continue following all of your state and local licensing and inspection requirements.
If my car doesn’t pass inspection, what do I do?
First, you should talk to your dealer and/or Volkswagen. Document this communication well, and then contact us to help understand your options and rights.
Will this case result in VW having to address the harm it has done to the environment?
Our clients and our environmental litigation team at Keller Rohrback are particularly concerned with the harm VW has caused to human health and the environment. One of the driving goals in our litigation is to make sure VW addresses the harms it has caused and is forced to ensure that future vehicles do not threaten our air, land, and water.
I understand that these Volkswagen cars are emitting Nitrogen Oxide. What is Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), and how does it impact clean air?
According to research, Nitrogen Oxides are a generic term for a group of highly reactive gases containing nitrogen and oxygen. The primary sources are motor vehicles, electric utilities, and other industrial, commercial and residential sources that burn fuels. NOx cause a wide variety of health and environmental impacts, including bronchial congestion and scarring of the lungs. They also react with volatile organic compounds when it’s sunny and warm, producing ground-level ozone.
The New York Times reports that the collective impact of Nitrogen Oxide emissions from affected Volkswagen diesel cars is likely responsible for a death toll in the United States that may exceed 100 persons.