German automaker Volkswagen appears to be readying itself to launch a massive vehicle recall after the first of the year. As has been widely publicized, a number of its vehicles have been caught up in an emissions test manipulation scandal that recently came to light when the EPA accused the manufacturer of installing software in the vehicles that makes them perform better on emissions tests than they actually do on the road.
This manipulation of its vehicle software is alleged to not only affect emissions, but also fuel mileage, meaning that the fuel mileage that a vehicle was advertised to get may not be what the vehicle actually gets once the vehicles are “fixed” in the coming recall. This means that the
Image / Egerton Law
vehicles now pollute more heavily than advertised, will soon get poorer fuel mileage than advertised, may soon have less torque than advertised, and would therefore have a lesser resale or trade-in value for those who have purchased one of the affected vehicles. Volkswagen is already scrambling to come up with the “fixes”, which would vary from vehicle to vehicle. If you own one of these vehicles and haven’t received a letter from Volkswagen yet, you soon will.
So what does this mean for those looking at such a vehicle sitting in their own driveway? Possible solutions include waiting for Volkswagen to recall your vehicle and do what it can to “fix” the problem. They have already sent out letters to customers telling them to brace for how long it will take to recall the approximately 11 million vehicles. In addition to the decreased value of the vehicle, which cannot be undone, even a recalled and “fixed” vehicle would get poorer fuel mileage. This means higher fuel costs for owners going forward and, as you well know, diesel fuel is not cheap.
Another possible solution is to wait until your case is snapped up by a huge class action lawsuit or something called “multi-district litigation”. Already, hundreds of national law firms are scrambling to be the ones who get certified to lead the class action suit. Whichever firm or firms win this mad scramble will undoubtedly improve their bottom line. But where does that leave the consumer? Likely waiting years for a result that may seem unfair when the dust settles. A third solution is to go ahead and file a lawsuit against Volkswagen, which is something that we have already started doing here.
-VW Jetta TDI (2009-2015)
-VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (2009-2014)
-VW Golf TDI (2010-2015)
-VW Golf SportWagen TDI (2015)
-VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (2012-2015)
-VW Passat TDI (2012-2015)