September 22, 2015 (Shareholders Foundation) - Several lawsuits were filed on behalf of consumers who purchased or leased certain Volkswagen and Audi diesel models alleging Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., alleging that the auto maker deliberately deceived consumers and regulators when it installed defeat devices in 482,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles in the U.S.
The plaintiffs in at least 25 lawsuits accuse Volkswagen Group of America of fraudulent concealment, false advertising, and violations of federal and state laws.
Recently the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) to automakers Volkswagen AG and Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America (“VW”) alleging that certain four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 include software that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants.
According to the EPA, the affected models include:
Jetta (Model Years 2009–2015)
Beetle (Model Years 2009–2015)
Golf (Model Years 2009–2015)
Passat (Model Years 2014–2015)
Audi A3 (Model Years 2009–2015)
More specifically, the EPA claims that VW manufactured and installed software in the electronic control module of the affected vehicles that sensed when the vehicle was being tested for compliance with EPA emission standards. The EPA alleges that during EPA emission testing, the vehicles’ emission control module ran software which produced compliant emission results under an emission control module calibration that VW referred to as the “dyno calibration” and that at all other times during normal vehicle operation the software was active and the vehicle emission control module software ran a separate “road calibration” which reduced the effectiveness of the emission control system and that as a result, emissions of NOx increased by a factor of 10 to 40 times above the EPA compliant levels, depending on the type of drive cycle.