A nationwide class action complaint has been filed by Keller Rohrback L.L.P. against the Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. for the alleged deliberate installation of defeat devices in as much as 482,000 diesel passenger vehicles that have been sold throughout the United States since 2008. This comes after the Volkswagen Group has received several notices of violation (NOV) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the same issue. Separate investigations by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are also currently ongoing.
The complaint alleges that Volkswagen had promised to deliver vehicles that boast of “extremely high fuel mileage coupled with low emissions.” Moreover, the auto maker had also allegedly found a way to make it look like the cars did, in fact, have low emissions when in reality, it did not.
A defeat device software was discovered in Volkswagen and Audi A3 diesel vehicles was discovered during an independent analysis undertaken by the West Virginia University in cooperation with the International Council on Clean Transportation. According to the law firm, this defeat device worked by switching on the full emissions control systems in the affected cars only when the vehicle is undergoing emissions testing. Once the testing is done, the defeat device would then shut off most of the emissions control systems. This results in the affected vehicle producing 40 times more pollution into the environment than is allowed under the Clean Air Act and state regulations.
Volkswagen had actually admitted that there are defeat devices installed in their cars earlier this month, after both the EPA and CARB demanded for an explanation with regard to its emission issues. Following the release of findings from the EPA and CARB, Volkswagen Group Chief Executive Officer Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn has also issued an apology, saying, “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public.” The auto company has also said that it has already ordered for an external investigation to conducted regarding its emissions scandal.
Related: Volkwagen Receives Clean Air Act Violations Related To False Emission Data On 428,000 Vehicles
Inside the company, The New York Times reports that Winterkorn is set to face the Volkswagen supervisory board on Friday. Tough questions including the date he first learned of the emissions issue are expected to be raised.