Why Volkswagen’s Cheating May Come Back To Haunt You

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On September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency made a stunning announcement that may be the downfall of one of the world’s biggest automakers, and, more importantly, may eventually hit you in the pocket book and even affect your health. The E.P.A. concluded that almost 500,000 Volkswagen diesels sold in the United States between 2009 and 2015 would have to be recalled and fixed after it was found that the car maker had developed special engine software designed to let its cars cheat their way past mandatory U.S. emissions testing. When one of the affected cars was put through the usual test it would reduce its engine’s power and change the way it dealt with engine exhaust thus allowing it to meet the required standards.  But, out on the open road, away from the controlled environments of testing labs, cars with these Volkswagen diesel engines would, and do, put out 40x more pollutants. Already, Volkswagen faces the challenge of an expensive U.S. recall, and potentially billions of dollars in U.S. fines, but that may only be the tip of the iceberg. The car company sold 11 million such cheating cars worldwide and you can be sure Europe, among others, will have something to say to the German automaker soon.
What does this mean for you? Two things:

  1. Your VW may soon be worth a lot less. If you bought a diesel powered Jetta, Golf, Beetle, Passat, or Audi A3 any time between the 2009 and 2015 model years your car may be subject to the upcoming recall. The problem is, VW doesn’t yet know how exactly it will fix the affected cars. When they run normally they put out unacceptable levels of pollution, but if they run in the cleaner cheating mode their engines operate at lower power levels and in ways that some say may actually cause engine damage over the longer term. End result? There may not be an easy fix, and what fix is possible might result in cars that don’t perform as well as they used to. Some speculate that the resell values of VW diesels may drop off a cliff because of this scandal. After all, who wants to buy a used car that either pollutes too much or has too little power?
  2. Exhaust from your VW may be more harmful than you realized. One of the main things the affected VW engines did while cheating was drastically reduce the amount of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) released into the air. During normal everyday use one of these cars puts out up to 40 times more NOx than allowed by the clean air act. NOx is known to be a contributor to climate change and ozone layer destruction and is a hazardous gas that can cause various respiratory and breathing problems.
    Now, not only is your VW diesel soon to be subject to a nationwide recall that may result in worse driving performance and a drop in resell value, it may also be harming your health and the environment.

At Martin Walker Law, our team has significant experience in both Product Liability and Personal Injury cases. If you have questions about this Volkswagen emissions scandal or related issues you can contact us at 903-526-1600, by emailing us at info@martinwalkerlaw.com, or by using the Contact page of our website