Lawyers Prepare for Action Against VW
Oct. 9, 2015—Lawyers specializing in consumer class action suits are preparing for action against Volkswagen as the fraud scandal against the automaker continues to build, according to a report by Spencer Aronfeld of the HuffPost.
Approximately 11 million owners of diesel vehicles made by VW and Audi were fooled into purchasing cars they were made to believe were environmentally friendly. Last month, it was made aware that VW had purposely manipulated the emission data, concealing the true pollution levels caused by the vehicles.
In wake of the admission, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned and was replaced by Matthias Müller of Porsche, a VW subsidiary. Müller announced that the company would begin a global recall in January 2016 and aim to complete the repairs by the end of 2016, according to the report.
There are a number of different proposals for the recalls. Some suggest a simple software update, while others say that it will require the installation of new components including catalytic converters and fuel injectors. Most likely, VW will have to replace many of the cars because many owners will have a legitimate claim for the loss of value of their cars.
This case differs from many causes involving fraud because the evidence points to a knowing and calculated act of fraud instead of a simple mistake. Whenever a company commits an intentional act of misleading or manipulating data, it is subject to punitive damages. Punitive damages can amount to many times the amount of the actual compensatory damages to the victim.
Lawyers have already begun filing lawsuits across the country. The most likely outcome is there will be several moves to consolidate the cases into class actions, followed by a Multi-District Litigation (MDL), according to the report.