Recently, Volkswagen, the biggest vehicle manufacturer in the world, was caught manipulating American air pollution tests by installing secret software—specially designed to cheat emissions tests—into the electronic control module of a number of its diesel vehicles manufactured between 2008 and 2015.
The Source of Volkswagen’s Diesel Scandal
The software, called “defeat devices,” allowed the affected vehicles to determine the presence of an official emissions test based on the position of the vehicle’s steering wheel, speed, duration of the engine’s operation and barometric pressure. Once the software picked up on these factors, the vehicle’s emission controls switched to a “clean mode,” limiting the amount of pollutants released to in order to pass the test, but then switching back to emitting 10 to 40 or more times the legal amount of pollutants while on the road.
Allegations were first leveled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on September 18, following questions raised by independent researchers. After initially denying wrongdoing, Volkswagen finally admitted to the presence of the defeat devices, which were installed in approximately 500,000 of the following Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. between 2009 and 2015.
Affected Volkswagen Diesel Models
- VW Diesel Jetta (Model Years 2009-2015)
- VW Diesel Beetle (Model Years 2009-2015)
- VW Diesel Passat (Model Years 2009-2015)
- VW Diesel Golf (Model Years 2009-2015)
- Audi Diesel A3 (Model Years 2009-2015)
The Next Step for Volkswagen Diesel Owners
Owners and dealers of these vehicles should contact the experienced team of automobile product liability attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel to discuss your rights and options.
At Ashcraft & Gerel, we are at the forefront of product liability litigation. We have a deep interest in public safety and a proven track record spanning decades of demanding safety and accountability from manufacturers who engage in dangerous practices and defective products. Our experience and resources allow us to take on the largest automakers in the world to obtain compensation for clients injured due to dangerous automobile defects.