Frequently Asked Questions
If you own an Audi A3 or Volkswagen Diesel on the recall list you already know you were defrauded by Volkswagen Group. The software defeat device installed on your car illegally overrides the car’s emission system and spews 40 times acceptable levels of nitrogen oxide toxic pollutants. Learn your rights and START YOUR CASE NOW!
What is this this Case About?
During the last several years Volkswagen installed software in almost 482,000 vehicles sold in the USA that were fraudulently rigged to pass strict environmental emission standards. The problem is that when the diesel equipped vehicles operated on real road conditions, they spewed hazardous compounds into the atmosphere without the knowledge of the owner or the EPA. Volkswagen admitted to the fraud after they were confronted by test irregularities discovered by the International Council on Clean Transportation, an independent environmental testing group.
How did this fraud happen?
It is still unclear exactly how this fraud happened. Volkswagen officials claim that higher management had no knowledge of the fraud. In the course of our litigation we will take many depositions and discover millions of documents from Volkswagen files in our quest to get to the bottom of this scandal.
Why would Volkswagen want to hide the facts of this fraud?
Again, it is unclear at this time when upper Volkswagen management had actual knowledge of the fraud. But the record seems reasonably clear that as far back as several years ago Volkswagen management was put on notice of irregularities between static test results and real world emissions. One reason Volkswagen may not have wanted to reveal the problem was their knowledge that they could not sell any diesel cars in the USA that emitted those high levels of unhealthy nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. We will find out the real facts during the discovery phase of the lawsuits.
What’s the bottom line on what happened inside Volkswagen?
Quite simply, it appears plausible that Volkswagen, through a complicated conspiracy most likely involving engineers, programmers and code technicians rigged the software in the copyrighted and sealed ECM (electronic control module) in all Volkswagen and Audi A3 TDI® Clean Diesels delivered to the USA with the intent to fool state and federal emissions testing facility personnel into believing the motors were not emitting dangerous nitrogen oxide emissions. When they were recently confronted with the fraud, Volkswagen admitted the wrongdoing.
What do I do when Volkswagen recalls my vehicle?
It is likely that the EPA will require you to submit to the recall when Volkswagen gives you notice. It is still unknown what the recall will do to fix the problem with emissions. It is unlikely that the problem with emissions can be fixed without your car suffering lower fuel economy and/or performance.
Will my vehicle have decreased performance after a recall fix?
Volkswagen has not announced at this time exactly what the fix will involve or how it may affect your cars performance. It is believed by many experts that Volkswagen will not be able to fix the TDI® Diesel vehicles to comply with EPA emission standards without the sacrifice of performance and fuel economy and increased costs to operate. Consequently, even if Volkswagen is able to fix the TDI® Diesel so that it complies with EPA standards, owners will still suffer real harm and incur real damages due to the fact that the fixed car will not be what they bargained for when purchased-a clean diesel with high performance, great fuel economy and low operating costs.
ABOUT MY MONEY LOSSES
Should I sell my vehicle now for a loss?
You will need to make your own financial decisions regarding what is best for you. We recommend that you remain patient until we can ascertain your complete individual damages because everyone’s damages will vary depending upon the state laws where they live.
A number of experts in the emission testing and repair business are making informed guesses as to the amount of money it will cost VW to fix your TDI® Diesel to make it compliant with EPA regulations. The lowest cost we have heard is about $1000 but this fix would probably not meet with consumer satisfaction. The highest equipment cost number floating around is $2500 plus labor. This is the number that is estimated by the folks at thetruthaboutcars.com. They claim that a fix would entail the following equipment costs.
- Cooler ($361)
- Dosing Valve ($240)
- DPFE ($105)
- After Treatment Fuel Tank ($534)
- Temperature Sensor ($171)
- EGR ($401)
- Catalyst ($688)
This is a total of about $2500 before labor costs involved. This fix will also necessitate new safety tests and ratings because an after-the-fix vehicle is not the same car you purchased. The fix is substantial and may entail such things as removing the fuel tank and replacing with a different configuration.
Some experts propose putting a Urea tank in the trunk. The more informed experts do not believe that a Urea tank can be installed in the trunk for several reasons; the most logical being that the Urea mixture is corrosive and could spill into the trunk envelope contaminating the owner’s personal items and perhaps groceries. Therefore, the tanks would need to be installed under the car, but there is not room in most models for this approach to work. So, the most logical solution is to replace the existing fuel tank with a smaller tank to accommodate a second smaller tank for the Urea.
In addition, it is not known how long it will take VW to develop a fix. But, it is a monumental undertaking that will require many months to plan and execute. And, any fix is going to require the car owner’s cooperation and acceptance. If the resulting fixed car does not have the same performance and fuel economy as the car they bargained for on the purchase date, it is only logical to assume that most owners will not be satisfied with the plan.
And, regardless of the fix, it is safe to say that each owner will have additional damages that will need to be reimbursed.
How much is my claim worth?
We are currently investigating the damage models that will apply to residents of each state. The damages will be different from person to person and state to state.
Here is a list of all the possible damages you may be entitled to recover. (All states have different consumer remedies so your damages will be limited by your state’s laws. You will need specific legal advice on the damages available to you in your state. We can help you evaluate your damage claim.)
1. Full purchase price value of vehicle.
2. Loss of benefit of bargain damages.
3. Loss of use damages.
4. Costs to repair.
5. Cost premium paid by buyer for the diesel engine.
6. Difference between the future costs of ownership of this car and costs of a replacement vehicle.
7. Diminished value of vehicle. (result of resale value diminution and image degradation)
8. Intentional or Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress damages.
9. Damages for violations of federal and state deceptive trade practices acts.
10. Double or Treble damages awards available under some state’s statutory laws.
11. Punitive Damages.
12. Attorney’s Fees. (We will request that VW pay your attorney’s fees)
Can I get punitive damages?
Depending on your state, you may be entitled to punitive damages for the fraud that has been committed by Volkswagen. In lieu of punitive damages some states may permit a claim for treble damages. Speak with your assigned lawyer to get the answers to this question.
Am I entitled to any other state law damages?
Every state has its own unique laws that control what damages are allowable. Some states allow much higher damages. It is important to speak with the lawyer assigned to your case by our law firm as soon as possible. Time is of the essence and strict statutes of limitations apply.
WHAT ARE MY LEGAL OPTIONS?
When should I decide to file a claim?
It is always best to make an early decision. Your lawyers will assist you by answering all your questions and making sure you do not make early mistakes. By starting early you will be able to maximize your damage claim. We are ready to start your claim today.
How much time do I have to file a claim?
The short answer is that you should file as soon as reasonably possible. Every state has different statutes of limitations and different discovery rules that will dictate how long you have to file a lawsuit. But, be aware that the statute of limitations laws alone will not necessarily determine how much time you have to file your claim. Unfortunately, there are some lawyers who do not fully understand how discovery rules are applied to modify the time frames available for you to file your claim in this instance.
As an example, let’s say you purchased your car on January 1, 2012 and the tort statute of limitations in your state is 2 years from the date of purchase. You might think your statute of limitations has expired. But most state courts recognize that it is impossible for a consumer to file a claim until he or she became aware that the fraud was perpetrated on them. In such instances the statute of limitations may be extended for a reasonable period of time to allow you to file your lawsuit. But, don’t assume that you would have another 2 years. In most instances you will not get a new 2 year statute of limitations from the date of your acquired knowledge. Usually, in most instances you only get a “reasonable” amount of time to file. In some states this may as short as 30 to 90 days. But every state is different.
Therefore, time is of the essence for you to file your claim. For this reason you should contract with a competent and knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your claim.
How long will my case take?
Every case is different and every jurisdiction is different. Some jurisdictions have very efficient judicial systems that move cases along quickly—others are slower. We will keep you posted constantly on how your case is proceeding and always attempt to resolve your case as quickly as possible at the highest possible value.
Will I get less money if I join a Class Action instead?
In this litigation against VW it is most likely that people who file their own separate lawsuits will receive much more money in their pocket than those who join class action litigation. See, the disadvantages of joining a class action CLICK HERE.
EXPENSES TO PREPARE MY CASE?
How much will this cost me?
When you hire our firm we never make clients pay for any expenses or fees in the case up-front or during the litigation. You will not pay any expenses or legal fees until we win your case and you approve the final money disbursements paid by Volkswagen. Our goal is simple—maximize your damages and maximize the money in your pocket. (See contract for specifics)