On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated over 500 lawsuits against Volkswagen (VW) before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer in San Francisco. There are hundreds of lawsuits filed against VW involving its installation of an illegal defeat device -“fuel emissions control” software designed to evade emissions standards. Volkswagen has admitted that nearly 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. contain the defeat device.
The JPML met last week in New Orleans and heard from attorneys who wanted to consolidate the lawsuits in a federal district court, under one judge. Consolidating lawsuits in this manner reduces conflicts, duplication, delay and costs for parties and the courts. VW and the government asked the JPML to consolidate the lawsuits in Michigan. However, the Panel denied their request and chose to centralize the lawsuits in California, where the majority of affected VW owners and dealers reside.
Kershaw, Cook & Talley has filed federal suits against VW in several states. The cases allege that VW illegally equipped vehicles with the defeat device that detects and turns on the software during emissions testing but turns the software off during normal driving situations. As a result, cars can emit up to 40 times the pollution allowed under federal standards.
In addition, Kershaw, Cook & Talley is actively investigating potential class actions against VW on behalf of dealerships. Volkswagen heads into its third month of a seemingly never-ending scandal, and dealers have been impacted and are concerned. The value of affected merchandise depreciates with the absence of a fix, and all VW models are struggling to sell, whether or not they have the defeat device. Alan Brown, chairman of VW’s Dealer Advisory Council, states, “The recent events unfolding globally regarding the diesel scandal has hit the dealers in the U.S. extremely hard.” The VW controversy is undermining sales and threatens the prospects of hundreds of dealerships nationwide.
The diesel vehicles and model years include:
If you are a dealer, or consumer, with an affected VW vehicle, contact an attorney at Kershaw, Cook & Talley for a free case evaluation at 888-997-5170.