Hagens Berman and Quinn Emanuel File California Class Action Against Volkswagen Seeking Immediate Buyback of Tainted Vehicles

Firms Seeking Buybacks for California Owners of VW CleanDiesel Cars with Defeat Device Installed

LOS ANGELES – California owners of Volkswagen’s CleanDiesel vehicles represented by consumer-rights firm Hagens Berman and business litigation firm, Quinn Emanuel, today filed an additional class action lawsuit against Volkswagen demanding an immediate buyback under California emissions law.

The new lawsuit follows testimony by Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn that VW will not even begin to recall and repair its grossly polluting diesel cars until 2016, and the recall process could take a year or more.

“In a state where environmental protection is paramount, consumers in California have suffered greatly from VW's dirty diesels and its deception,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “We believe California owners should not have to choose between either parking their cars and walking, or driving them and spewing illegal and dangerous compounds into the environment. They should not have to wait years or even months for Volkswagen to get around to fixing this.”

The lawsuit states that the tainted vehicles violate California law because by design, they were never intended to pass California emissions requirements and instead employed a defeat device which, during emissions tests turns on full emissions controls, but only during the test.

“Under California’s stringent automobile emissions control laws, each vehicle purchased in the state must as a matter of law come with an express manufacturer’s warranty that the vehicle was ‘[d]esigned, built, and equipped so as to conform with all applicable regulations adopted by the Air Resources Board,’ the suit states. “Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (“VW”) breached this express warranty with respect to each California Vehicle.”

According to the suit, “Under applicable California express warranty law, VW must ‘promptly’ offer to accept the return of non-conforming vehicles and to provide replacement vehicles or restitution of the purchase price (among other remedies) unless it can make them ‘conform to the applicable express warranties after a reasonable number of attempts.’” The suit further alleges that Volkswagen admits it cannot presently make the required repairs and its own timetable would have owners wait months, or even years for a suitable repair.

The suit adds that California plaintiffs are suffering irreparable harm and have no adequate remedy at law because they are now either getting no use out of their vehicles or driving vehicles that are illegally spewing toxic emissions – which will only magnify if plaintiffs are made to wait for VW’s timetable.

The firms are continuing to expand litigation against Volkswagen and are seeking information from affected owners. If you own one of the vehicles listed below, contact Hagens Berman’s legal team now.

According to the EPA, Volkswagen installed its deceptive software, called a “defeat device,” in at least the following diesel models of its vehicles: Jetta CleanDiesel (model years 2009 – 2015), Jetta Sportswagen (model years 2009 – 2014), Beetle and Beetle convertible CleanDiesel (model years 2012 – 2015), Audi A3 TDI (model years 2010 – 2015), Golf CleanDiesel (model years 2010 – 2015), Golf Sportswagen CleanDiesel (model year 2015), and Passat CleanDiesel (model years 2012 – 2015).

Hagens Berman continues to receive responses from consumers who feel that Volkswagen has committed consumer fraud, leaving them with either an illegally polluting car, or what will become a recalled, underperforming vehicle whose value has sharply declined:

  • …VW has lied and how they “fix” the car will completely diminish and change the performance of the car… I am not happy about this purchase, I regret it now every time I get in it, and wish I would have never bought the car.
  • Volkswagen has shown themselves to be liars. People don't want to buy a car from a company that betrayed the trust of their customers simply for greater profit.
  • Learning that I was unintentionally contributing to global warming for more than five years was a horrifying shock. Volkswagen’s deception feels like a close and personal betrayal. I am incredibly angry.
  • I was so excited to buy this car, yet today I am utterly disappointed and sadden by the corporation’s fraudulent actions.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

About Quinn Emanuel
Quinn Emanuel is a 700-lawyer business litigation firm. With 18 offices globally, it is the largest law firm in the world devoted solely to business litigation. Firm lawyers have tried over 2,300 cases, winning 88.2% of them. Four times the firm has been voted one of the four “most feared” firms by General Counsels at Fortune 500 companies — the lawyers they “least like to see” on the other side. Further information is available at www.quinnemanuel.com.

Hagens Berman
Ashley Klann
[email protected]

Quinn Emanuel
Shon Morgan
[email protected]

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