Frequently Asked Questions

Thousands of you have reached out to us for more information about the lawsuit, about Volkswagen's fraud and about what compensation you can expect. The answers below are questions we've received from VW owners and have been answered by the Hagens Berman legal team.

Do you have a question you think other VW/Audi owners have too? Post it on Twitter with #AskBerman in the tweet. Using the hashtag will allow you to share your story and talk with other VW owners. Hagens Berman's PR team will follow the hashtags, post answers to your questions from the legal team, and may add your question to our Questions from Owners page.

Read what VW owners are asking >

ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT:
Who does it apply to?
What are my options?
Do I have to take the settlement?
What about 3.0 owners?
What are next steps?
What do I have to do?
When can I expect to receive the money or repair?
How else is VW being held accountable?
Is the money received from a possible settlement subject to state and or federal taxes?
What if a dealership offers me to sell my car after June 28, 2016?

MY SIGN-UP INFORMATION:
Did you receive my information?
Am I represented by Hagens Berman?

ABOUT THE CASE (UPDATED February 2016):
Hagens Berman was named to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for the VW case. What happens now?
Why am I not named in the consolidated complaint?
Should I still sign up with you? If so, how do I do so?
Are you still representing me?
What will I get out of this case?
Has the case changed?
Do I have to re-sign up?

I have one of the cars that was most recently added to the list of dirty diesels by the EPA Notice of Violation. What should I do?
What is the case about?

Which vehicles are affected? Is mine on the list?
What is the intended outcome?
What types of damages are you seeking in the class action?
How long will it take to resolve this?
Will the lawsuit pursue damages for environmental destruction?
How much money can I expect?
How many other firms will be filing suit?
What is the statute of limitations on a case like this?

LETTERS OR OFFERS FROM VOLKSWAGEN OR AUDI:
I'm a class member represented by your firm in the class action lawsuit against VW.  Is it alright to claim the goodwill package being offered by VW at this time? Will it affect in any way our lawsuit against VW?
If I engaged Hagens Berman to represent me as a class member can I still respond when Audi calls me to discuss the remedy for my A3?
If I respond to Audi’s email or call them, will it harm the class action case against Audi?
I received a letter from VW. What should I do?

REPRESENTATION:
If I submitted my information to you on your website or by email, do you represent me in this lawsuit?

FEE:
How much does it cost?

ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT:
How is a settlement for a case this large going to be disbursed?

WHAT IF…
I leased my car. Can I be part of the lawsuit?
I sold my car? Can I be part of the lawsuit?
I live outside of the US. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
I am in the military working overseas and have my car with me. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
I have a residence in the states, but I work overseas. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
My local attorney recommended that I sue VW on my own. What are the benefits of being part of a class-action lawsuit?
We are experiencing health-related issues and think it might have something to do with the car. Will this be a part of the lawsuit?
If I am involved in the class action, can I still sue VW on my own?
I want to return my car. What do I do?
Can I be a part of the lawsuit if I don't live in the US?
My dealer just sent me a letter offering $2,000 Loyalty credit if I trade in my car for a new one. Can I take it?

MY VEHICLE:
Should I continue making payments on my vehicle?
I fear a significant loss in resale value. What can I expect?
I fear altered performance and driving characteristics of the car or loss of fuel mileage (MPG) if they reprogram the ECU. What can I expect?
My car won’t pass inspection. What should I do?
I own a TDI car not listed in the lawsuit. Why isn’t my car listed?
I want to return my car. What do I do?
If there is a recall, will I be forced to take my vehicle in?

ABOUT THE PROCESS:
There are multiple cases filed against VW. Why?
Do all of the cases get merged together?
Since I signed up on the form, am I assured to be a part of the lawsuit? 
Why is getting lead counsel a benefit to the plaintiff?
How does a class action work?
I've already joined a class action. Is it OK to join more than one suit?

ABOUT HAGENS BERMAN:
Why should I sign up with Hagens Berman?
If I sign up with Hagens Berman what can I expect?

CONTACT:
How do I ask questions about the case?
What’s the quickest way to get a response from the legal team?

WHAT TO EXPECT:
What are the next steps?
What else can I do?
Should I contact my local government?

 


ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT:

Who does it apply to?
Owners of about 475,000 model year 2009-15 Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars. Eligible models: 2009-15 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, 2009-14 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI, 2012-15 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, 2012-15 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI, 2010-15 Audi A3 TDI, 2010-15 Volkswagen Golf TDI, 2010-15 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI, 2012-15 Volkswagen Passat TDI

What are my options?
Owners can either sell their vehicles back to Volkswagen for a price reflecting the value of the vehicles before the diesel cheating became known, or have their cars repaired without incurring any cost. Volkswagen will also separately offer affected car owners cash compensation of $5,100 to $10,000, depending on the model and year of the vehicle. More information about payments.

Do I have to take the settlement?
No, car owners may choose not to participate and instead sue Volkswagen for better terms. Those owners, however, would also risk getting a lesser settlement or none at all if their separate lawsuits are unsuccessful.

What about 3.0 owners?
The court and our legal team are continuing to work tirelessly for owners of 3.0-liter affected vehicles. We will update owners with more information as soon as possible.

What are next steps?
Next steps will include time for public comment and final court approval of the proposed settlement.

What do I have to do?
You need to wait till public comment period is over, judge approves settlement, and then you’ll fill out a claim form.

When can I expect to receive the money or repair?
The settlement still is subject to review by a federal judge and a public comment period, which might take until fall. But if the deal is approved, it will require Volkswagen to begin acting as soon as possible. All repairs and payments are to be made no later than December 2018.

How else is VW being held accountable?
On top of the compensation described above, under settlements with EPA and CARB, Volkswagen will pay $2.7 billion into a Trust. The purpose of the Trust is to support environmental programs throughout the country that will reduce NOx in the atmosphere by an amount equal to or greater than the combined NOx pollution caused by the cars that are the subject of this lawsuit. In addition, Volkswagen must spend $2 billion to promote non-polluting cars (“zero emissions vehicles” or “ZEV”), over and above any amount Volkswagen previously planned to spend on such technology. EPA and CARB will oversee and monitor, and the Court will enforce, Volkswagen’s compliance with the Trust payment and the ZEV investment. 

Is the money received from a possible settlement subject to state and or federal taxes?
You will need to consult with a tax attorney/advisor concerning this question. 

What if a dealership offers me to sell my car after June 28, 2016?
If you sell your car after June 28, 2016, you will be ineligible for offers made in the settlement. We advise you to not sell your vehicle after June 28, 2016, if you wish to take advantage of the benefits of the settlement.

MY SIGN-UP INFORMATION:
Did you receive my information?

  • If you are receiving e-newsletters from Hagens Berman, your information has been received and is in our database.
  • If you have sent supplemental information, we will be entering that information into our database as soon as possible. We will not be able to confirm every single email, but if you are receiving our newsletters and updates, you are in our database.
  • If you have sent an email to our legal team, please be patient. Our attorneys have received approximately 8,000 responses from vehicle owners. They are working as fast as they can to respond to you.
  • If you have faxed an R&R, we will be responding to you with a confirmation. Thank you for your patience.
  • If you have left a voice mail for Steve Berman, Tom Loeser or any other member of Hagens Berman's team for any reason, these have all been forwarded to the legal team. They are responding to these calls.

Am I represented by Hagens Berman?
Once you have filled out and agreed to the Letter of Engagement, then for purposes of the class action, you will be represented by Hagens Berman for the scope set forth in the letter of engagement.

ABOUT THE CASE:

Hagens Berman was named to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for the VW case. What happens now?
The case moves forward. The next step will be the filing of a consolidated complaint. Next, there will likely be initial settlement discussions while discovery proceeds.

Why am I not named in the consolidated complaint?
The individuals named in the consolidated complaint are class representatives. Each class representative serves as a proxy for all other VW owners who are similarly affected and situated. A committee of several attorneys from law firms around the country selected the class representatives for the consolidated complaint. The selection was based on several factors, including the need for owners with particular vehicles who live in particular states. Other criteria included whether owners appear to be typical of many others, whether there are financial complications and what factors were important to the owner when they purchased their car.

Everyone who owns an Affected Vehicle will automatically be a class member if the consolidated case is certified as a class action by the judge, and that owner does not affirmatively “opt-out” of the class case.

Should I still sign up with you? If so, how do I do so?
You can still sign up to receive information from us, or to have us represent you. Since we are in a leadership role for the entire case, our litigation strengths and contribution to the end result will benefit all class members, whether or not they have chosen to individually retain us. By signing up with us, you can participate in our owner damages survey, and your insight will then contribute in some degree to what we understand VW owners want and expect from this case.

Are you still representing me?
We are representing anyone who retained us to do so. The fact that we are on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, but are not the lead firm on the PSC does not change the retention agreement.

What will I get out of this case?
It is too early to know what the end result will be. We are going to fight for the best possible outcome for VW owners, which will include making the cars EPA compliant, and providing VW owners compensation for the reduction in the value of their cars. If VW is not willing to provide a fair settlement, then the case will proceed in litigation.

Has the case changed?
The case has changed in that instead of their being about 500 different class actions with more than several hundred lawyers, the case will now proceed as a single class action with a select group of 22 lawyers.

Do I have to re-sign up?
No.

I have one of the cars that was most recently added to the list of dirty diesels by the EPA Notice of Violation. What should I do?
If you are the owner of a diesel version of the 2014 VW Touareg, 2015 Porsche Cayenne, or 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, or Q5, then your vehicle is one the EPA has alleged is equipped with the emissions cheating defeat device.  Hagens Berman will be filing new and amended complaints on behalf of owners just like you.  If you would like to engage Hagens Berman to represent you against VW for their emissions fraud, please fill out this form.

What is the case about?
This case is brought on behalf of persons who purchased or leased a Volkswagen or Audi vehicle equipped with the TDI CleanDiesel engine system or its equivalent (“affected vehicle”) as of Sept. 18, 2015 (“class members”)   

Which vehicles are affected? Is mine on the list?
Affected vehicles include: 2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, 2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI, 2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI, 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, 2009-2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI, 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI, 2009-2016 Volkswagen Touareg TDI 3.0L, 2010-2015 Audi A3 2.0L, 2014-2016 Audi A6 Quattro 3.0L, 2014-2016 Audi A7 Quattro 3.0L, 2014-2016 Audi A8 3.0L, 2014-2016 Audi A8L 3.0L, 2014-2016 Audi Q5 3.0L, 2009-2016 Audi Q7 3.0L and 2013-2016 Porsche Cayenne 3.0L.

What is the intended outcome?
Hagens Berman will seek to hold Volkswagen accountable for its fraud on consumers and the United States. We will fight tirelessly for recovery of the losses owners suffered and the harm Volkswagen caused to the environment. More about recovery...

What types of damages are you seeking in the class action?
In our class actions, we seek for each class member the damages they incurred as a result of Volkswagen’s use and concealment of the use of a defeat device in the affected vehicles. Such damages may include:

  • the premium paid over the price of an equivalent vehicle with a gasoline engine;
  • the purchase price of the vehicle;
  • the cost of unused extended warranties;
  • the cost of excess fuel associated with a decrease in efficiency;
  • the cost of future repairs;
  • the loss in value of affected vehicles; and
  • the cost to remediate harm to the environment caused by the excess levels of pollutants released by affected vehicles.

How long will it take to resolve this?
Cases of this nature usually take between one and four years to resolve.  However, in this case there are indications that Volkswagen will seek an early resolution.

Will the lawsuit pursue damages for environmental destruction?
Hagens Berman will seek recovery from Volkswagen to ameliorate the harm caused by the excess pollution emitted by the affected vehicles.

How much money can I expect?
At this early stage of the litigation it is difficult to predict what compensation each class member will ultimately receive. If a settlement is reached that the court rules is fair, reasonable and adequate, then the money obtained from that settlement must be distributed to class members in a manner that the court determines to be fair and equitable. Strictly for purposes of example, in the Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration case, which Hagens Berman led, the case settled for $1.6 billion, and qualifying class members received a check between $125 and $6,000, depending upon the characteristics of the vehicle owned. This case could be larger or smaller than the Toyota case, but Hagens Berman will fight for the largest possible recovery for class members.

How many other firms will be filing suit?
There will likely be nearly 100 law firms filing suits throughout the country. These suits will all be consolidated for pre-trial purposes with a single court and that court will select a small group of lawyers and firms to organize and manage the litigation as lead counsel. Hagens Berman was chosen as lead counsel in the Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration case ($1.6 billion settlement) and the Hyundai/Kia MPG case ($380 million settlement), and Steve Berman is currently serving as lead counsel in the massive GM Ignition Switch Defect litigation. No other firm has Hagens Berman’s proven track record in massive nationwide auto defect cases.

What is the statute of limitations on a case like this?
The statute of limitations can vary depending upon the state law applicable and the causes of action asserted. However, in this case, because Volkswagen concealed its fraudulent behavior, any applicable statutes of limitations were tolled, meaning that they did not start until the fraud was discovered on Sept. 18, 2015

LETTERS OR OFFERS FROM VOLKSWAGEN OR AUDI:
I'm a class member represented by your firm in the class action lawsuit against VW. Is it alright to claim the goodwill package being offered by VW at this time? Will it affect in any way our lawsuit against VW?
On Nov. 9, 2015, VW announced a "Goodwill Package" that it is making available to all registered owners of Affected Vehicles as of Nov. 8, 2015. The Goodwill Package includes: (1) a $500 Visa gift card good anywhere Visa is accepted; (2) a $500 gift card good only at a VW dealership; and (3) a 3-year roadside assistance package. Information about the Goodwill Program and links to the VW/Audi websites relating to the program are at the Hagens Berman Owner Hub.

VW/Audi's lawyers sent Hagens Berman a cover email attaching the letter it sent to owners on Nov. 9, 2015, announcing the Goodwill Package. In that cover letter, VW counsel stated plainly that the Goodwill Package is provided "without any agreement for release of any claims." Since no release of claims is associated with the Goodwill Package, there is no reason why owners of affected vehicles - VW, Audi or Porsche - should not register for and take advantage of the Goodwill Package.

Please pay careful attention to any documents you are asked to sign in connection with the Goodwill Package and let us know of any difficulties you encounter in relation to the Goodwill Package. If for any reason it appears to you that VW or your dealer are trying to get you to release your claims in any way, or are making you agree to arbitration or to waive your right to participate in a class action, contact us immediately.

Hagens Berman asked VW/Audi's attorneys about the language in the Goodwill Package. Here's their response: "Affected customers eligible for the Goodwill Package are not required to waive their rights or release their claims against VW in order to receive the Package. No terms of the Cardholders Agreements will waive any eligible customer's rights against VW with respect to their TDI vehicles. The Cardholder Agreements are solely between the customer and Metabank (and its successors, affiliates or assignees)." Again, this applies to all affected vehicles - VW, Audi and Porsche.

If I engaged Hagens Berman to represent me as a class member can I still respond when Audi calls me to discuss the remedy for my A3?
As a class member, you are not foreclosed from negotiating your own solution with Audi. Such a solution may, or may not mean you can also participate in the class action. If you have engaged Hagens Berman and Audi does offer you a remedy, our legal team would be happy to discuss your choices with you, but as the client, the choice to accept any offer Audi makes to you is entirely yours.

If I respond to Audi’s email or call them, will it harm the class action case against Audi?
Responding to Audi’s letter will not have an adverse effect on our lawsuit.

I received a letter from VW. What should I do?
Owners of vehicles affected by the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal have been receiving form letters from Volkswagen from the president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Michael Horn, in which Volkswagen still does not offer you any solution. While VW states that there is nothing for owners to do at this stage, there is much you can do to make sure your interests are protected, and you should not sit idly by for months on end. Volkswagen would like nothing more than to be able to discount the concerns of customers, government agencies and regulators by claiming that most owners have not joined class actions or otherwise complained of the emissions fraud. Do not let your concerns go uncounted.

If you have not already engaged Hagens Berman to represent you as a class member, we urge you to do so. Engagement will not preclude you from obtaining any recovery or benefit Volkswagen may offer outside of the class actions, and it will give you a voice now to tell Volkswagen that you care.

REPRESENTATION:
If I submitted my information to you on your website or by email, do you represent me in this lawsuit?
In a class-action lawsuit, when the case is first filed, the lawyers who file it have a formal attorney-client relationship only with the class representative plaintiffs who are named in the complaint that is filed.

Hagens Berman is offering all individuals the ability to formally engage the firm for representation. You must enter your contact information, vehicle information and electronically sign the Letter of Engagement in one form. This step is required to create a legal relationship for representation.

If you do not wish to engage the firm for representation, all of the other persons in the class (owners of affected vehicles) who have provided us information will be represented by us when the judge certifies the case as a class action, either through settlement or prior to trial. Until then, we will not have a formal attorney client relationship with you, but we will keep you posted about any material events in the lawsuit, and you may contact us to answer any questions you may have about the case.

FEE:
How much does it cost?
There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining the lawsuit. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement or judgment that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the lawyers for class members. Any such fee may be paid separately from damages by Volkswagen, or it may be deducted from the class-wide settlement before funds are distributed to individual class members. In no case, however, will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum to the class lawyers.

ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT:
How is a settlement for a case this large going to be disbursed?
If a settlement is reached, the settling parties will propose a distribution plan to the court. The court will evaluate the plan and approve it if it is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. The formula here will likely take into account the amount of the CleanDiesel premium in price for each model of car, the age of the car, and the expected drop in value, performance and efficiency of the car.

WHAT IF…
Can I be a part of the lawsuit if I leased my car?
Yes.

Can I be a part of the lawsuit if I sold my car?
If you sold your car after Sept. 18, 2015, yes. If you sold it before news of the fraud was public, you are not part of the lawsuit.

I live outside of the US. Can I still be a part of the lawsuit?
Hagens Berman’s present lawsuits are on behalf of persons who purchased their cars in the United States. If you bought your car in the United States and still own it, it does not matter where you live, you can still be part of the lawsuits. However, if you did not purchase your car in the United States, you may not be a part of the lawsuits.

I am in the military working overseas and have my car with me. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
Yes, if you bought it in the United States.

I have a residence in the states, but I work overseas. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
Yes, if you bought it in the United States.
 
My local attorney recommended that I sue VW on my own. What are the benefits of being part of a class-action lawsuit?
There are many benefits to participating in the class action: 

  • you do not have to pay any advance or hourly fees to your attorneys, and your attorneys will be among the finest and most respected plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country;
  • your attorneys will pay all fees and costs associated with prosecuting the lawsuit and will not be paid at all if they do not obtain a settlement or judgment that the court determines is fair, reasonable and adequate;
  • you will not have to provide discovery, be deposed, appear in court or otherwise participate in the lawsuit unless you ask to be a class representative and are chosen for that role;
  • your attorneys will have the collective bargaining power of hundreds of thousands of class members;
  • depending upon where you live, you may not have the right to sue your local dealer or Volkswagen because of an arbitration clause in your purchase or lease agreement;
  • If a settlement is obtained, you will have the right to review the proposed settlement and then decide whether or not to be included in it. If you decide not to participate, you will retain the right to sue (or continue to sue) on your own. For many claims, the statute of limitations will begin to run only after you exclude yourself from the settlement; the law in some states may differ.

We are experiencing health-related issues and think it might have something to do with the car. Will this be a part of the lawsuit?
Health related issues are matters individual to each person and therefore cannot be included in a class action.  If you believe you have been injured as a result of Volkswagen’s emissions fraud, you should explore filing your own lawsuits as personal injury and health claims will not be included in the class action.

If I am involved in the class action, can I still sue VW on my own?
If a class action is certified, and you do not opt out of the class or a proposed class settlement, then you will not be able to sue Volkswagen for the same claims that were resolved in the class action. However, if you choose not to accept a proposed settlement, or choose to opt-out of the class, then you will retain whatever rights to sue you had prior to the class action.

Can I be a part of the lawsuit if I don't live in the US?
At present, our lawsuits are only on behalf of owners in the United States, and only US residents and citizens can be a part of our proposed classes. However, the cases are still in the earliest stages, and they may expand through various other courts and mechanisms. If you send us your contact information, we will happily keep you up to date on all happenings and will reach out to you if the cases swell to include your country.

My dealer just sent me a letter offering $2,000 Loyalty credit if I trade in my car for a new one. Can I take it?
There is no reason why you cannot talk to your dealer and Volkswagen and take advantage of any special offers they may make.  If you do accept such an offer, please document carefully the transaction, including any discounts from your full purchase price and exactly what value they are giving your trade. Make sure the Loyalty credit is separately accounted for in your transaction documents. Any reduction in trade-in or discount off your original purchase price may be recoverable through the lawsuits.

MY VEHICLE:
Should I continue making payments on my vehicle?
Yes.  The fact of the filing of the lawsuits does not terminate your separate financing agreements with your bank or Volkswagen’s affiliated credit provider.  If you stop making your payments you may suffer adverse credit consequences and may lose your car.

I fear a significant loss in resale value. What can I expect?
It is highly likely that the affected vehicles will suffer a significant loss in resale value.

I fear altered performance and driving characteristics of the car or loss of fuel mileage (MPG) if they reprogram the ECU. What can I expect?
We expect that any ultimate “fix” of the emissions issue will cause a material loss in performance and efficiency for affected vehicles.  If the emissions failures were easily fixable, Volkswagen would have had no need to install the defeat device and defraud the EPA for the last six years. If any "fix" or recall is performed on your car, you should record and take notes on your car’s performance both before and after such "fix" or recall.  We will fight to obtain compensation to class members for change in car performance and efficiency up to a complete buy-back if warranted.

My car won’t pass inspection. What should I do?
Talk to your dealer and/or Volkswagen and keep us informed about what they say.  When we learn anything from Volkswagen or regulators, we will provide that information to you through our email newsletters and on our dedicated Volkswagen Emissions Case web page.

I own a TDI car not listed in the lawsuit. Why isn’t my car listed?
The fraud alleged by the EPA, and admitted by Volkswagen covers their 2 litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) engine systems used in vehicles from the 2009 model year to the present.  Our lawsuits include all models identified by the EPA.  If you own a car that has this engine system but is not listed in the lawsuits, please contact our legal team.

I want to return my car. What do I do?
There is no reason why you cannot talk to your dealer and Volkswagen and try to obtain a return or buyback of your car.  If you do accept such an offer, please document carefully the transaction, including any discounts from your full purchase price.  Any losses may be recoverable through the lawsuits.

If there is a recall, will I be forced to take my vehicle in?
There is no forced recall mechanism that Volkswagen can employ.  However, if your state has mandatory emissions testing, you may not be able to pass the test until a recall or repair has been performed.  Furthermore, even in states that do not have emissions testing, you may not be able to renew your vehicle tags until you provide proof that your vehicle has been recalled or repaired to comply with emissions standards.  As noted above, if Volkswagen employs a recall or repair that degrades the performance or efficiency of affected vehicles, our lawsuits will seek all possible compensation, including up to buy-back.

ABOUT THE PROCESS:
There are multiple cases filed against VW. Why?
Anyone can file a lawsuit.  There are many owners who want to sue Volkswagen, and many lawyers who want to be part of the lawsuits.  All of the cases, however, will be consolidated to a single court for pretrial purposes, and that court will chose a select few firms to manage the litigation.

Do all of the cases get merged together?
Yes.  See above.
 
Since I signed up on the form, am I assured to be a part of the lawsuit? 

If you owned one of the affected vehicles as of Sept. 18, 2015, and a class of such owners is certified by the court than you will be part of the lawsuit unless you choose to opt-out of the case or any proposed settlement.  We will keep all class members who register with us up to speed on all significant events in the case.  Hundreds of class members requested to be a class representative plaintiffs.  Unless we have expressly told you that you were chosen to be a class representative and sent you a copy of the lawsuit naming you, then you were not selected, but remain a class member entitled to participate in any future settlement or judgment.
Additionally, Hagens Berman is offering all individuals the ability to formally engage the firm for representation. You must enter your contact information, vehicle information and electronically sign the Letter of Engagement in one form. This step is required to create a legal relationship for representation.

Why is getting lead counsel a benefit to the plaintiff?
If you are a class representative plaintiff and your counsel is selected to be lead counsel, you will participate directly in the lawsuit, and you will be consulted on major events in the litigation.  If you are a class member and have provided your information to us, then we will provide you with updates on the case and keep you apprised of all relevant information that becomes available from the case, from regulators and from Volkswagen.

How does a class action work?
In a class action, the plaintiffs ask the judge to certify a class which allows a decision on the merits of the case to be decided after presenting the facts related to a representative plaintiff’s experience. This way, the rights of hundreds, or in this case about 500,000 people can be efficiently decided without each person having to present their individual case to the court. If liability is found or if the case is settled, a judgment or settlement amount is obtained to pay for everyone’s damages. That settlement or judgment fund is then distributed to all class members based on a formula determined by the court to be fair and reasonable.

I've already joined a class action. Is it OK to join more than one suit?
“Joining” a class action is a bit of a misnomer.  In fact, everyone who owns an Affected Vehicle will automatically be a class member if any case, or a consolidated case, is certified as a class action by the judge, and that owner does not affirmatively “opt-out” of the class case.  Because a decision on whether to certify a class in this case will not occur for many months, as it stands, all owners of Affected Vehicles are potential class members, and you can provide your information to any of the law firms that have filed cases against VW.
The exception is if you have been named as a class representative plaintiff in a Volkswagen lawsuit—that is, your name is on the lawsuit as a plaintiff—then you would not be able to be a named class representative in another lawsuit alleging the same bad acts by VW.  If you are not the named class representative plaintiff in a lawsuit, you are not yet a part of that lawsuit, and your options are not at all limited.

ABOUT HAGENS BERMAN:
Why should I sign up with Hagens Berman?
Hagens Berman has the most experience and the most successful track record in the country bringing big settlements for consumers against major automakers – bar none. Hagens Berman secured the largest settlement ever against an automaker at that time – $1.6 billion for vehicle owners against Toyota. We have achieved a $255 million settlement against Hyundai/Kia for overstated MPG in its vehicles. Currently we serve as lead counsel in litigation against GM for the ignition switch defect. This is our firm’s specialty, and we do it better than any other firm in the nation.

If I sign up with Hagens Berman what can I expect?
You can expect that our firm will fight vigorously for your rights as a consumer, and right the wrong that VW was committed. Our firm has secured major victories for consumers in numerous cases and will hold Volkswagen responsible for this tremendous loss to vehicle owners after years of VW's deception.

CONTACT:
How do I ask questions about the case?
Use the hashtag #askberman on Twitter, and please be patient, as our legal team has received thousands of responses. If you feel there is something very important, you may email our legal team directly using vw@hbsslaw.com.

What’s the quickest way to get a response from the legal team?
You can use the hashtag #askberman on Twitter, and please be patient, as our legal team has received thousands of responses. If you feel there is something very important you may email our legal team directly using vw@hbsslaw.com.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
What are next steps?
There will be a hearing in early December 2015 to decide where the cases will be consolidated and what judge will preside over the litigation. By January or February, the assigned judge will decide which firms will be in charge of the litigation. Soon after that a consolidated complaint will be filed and the litigation will begin with motions practice and discovery. There will likely be no major developments from the class member perspective for at least 4 to 6 months.

What else can I do?
As long as you have provided us your information, we will let you know if anything else needs to be done. If you decide to service, recall or repair your car, please keep accurate records of any such transactions.

Should I contact my local government?
You may choose to do so. Please let us know if you are able to obtain important information or a resolution of your concerns from such contact.