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Consumer Lawsuits Against Volkswagen Mushroom Following Diesel-Emissions Scandal

Consumer Lawsuits Against Volkswagen Mushroom Following Diesel-Emissions Scandal

DETROIT – There have been more than 300 consumer lawsuits brought against Volkswagen in the U.S. over its diesel-emissions scandal, according to a new tally by The National Law Journal.

Consumers allege they were tricked into paying premium prices for “clean diesel” vehicles that the EPA said may emit up to 40 times the standard for nitrogen oxides.

In mid-September, the EPA said that some of the German automaker’s diesel vehicles made since 2009 had a so-called “defeat device” designed to skirt emissions tests in violation of the U.S. Clean Air Act.

The affected Volkswagen cars in the U.S. number around 482,000. Volkswagen has issued a “profound apology” to customers and is in the process of determining a recall repair.

“We cannot offer a firm date now because we need to work on the remedy and review it with the government. We are proceeding as quickly as possible,” said Volkswagen Group of America in a statement on its microsite.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is set to hear arguments about consolidating the VW litigation on December 3 in New Orleans.

The potential damages in the VW litigation are estimated to be in the “billions or hundreds of millions,” according to an amicus brief filed on October 20 by the Center for Class Action Fairness.

The U.S. Justice Department, which is investigating the diesel-emissions scandal, filed an October 20 brief supporting transfer of the VW litigation to the Eastern District of Michigan, where the EPA’s emissions testing lab is located in Ann Arbor, according to The National Law Journal.

In the meantime, Volkswagen Group of America added a new VIN lookup tool so consumers can determine if their 2.0-liter TDI vehicle is affected by the ongoing diesel-emissions issue.

Edmunds says: The Volkswagen diesel-emissions crisis is poised to play out in the American legal system.

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