New York Times Reports Automaker Allegedly Equipped Vehicles with Software Allowing Them to Evade Emissions Standards
DALLAS (Sept. 23, 2015) – The national law firm of Baron & Budd is investigating the automaker Volkswagen for allegedly misrepresenting certain diesel-powered vehicle models as being “clean diesel,” as well as allegedly installing software in those models to help them evade emissions tests. The New York Times reported that the company has stopped selling diesel vehicles with the software, and has planned a recall of nearly 500,000 diesel cars sold in the U.S. since 2009.
According to the article, Volkswagen has halted sales of both 2015 and 2016 Audi and Volkswagen automobiles with 4-cylinder turbo diesel engines, as well as used vehicles with those engines produced starting in 2009. This comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board found that Volkswagen had equipped the vehicles with software that would let them defeat emissions tests, which are mandatory in most states.
The Times reported that the cars’ emission control systems are only fully engaged during an emissions test. During normal operation, the vehicles emit up to 40 times the pollutants allowed under the EPA’s Clean Air Act. The software, according to the article, conceals the emission of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant linked to the creation of smog and ozone that can contribute to a wide variety of health issues. When the pollution controls are disengaged, the newspaper reported, the performance of the vehicle can be enhanced through increased acceleration and torque.
The models affected include the following:
- Audi A3 (2009-2015)
- Volkswagen Beetle (2009-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf (2009-2015)
- Volkswagen Jetta (2009-2015)
- Volkswagen Passat (2014-2015)
“These allegations are extremely serious, because consumers who made a purchasing decision thinking they were helping the environment may have been misled,” said Roland Tellis, shareholder of the national law firm of Baron & Budd and head of the firm’s consumer fraud section. “We will thoroughly investigate the allegations and fight to protect consumers whose rights may have been violated.”
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The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Austin and Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized law firm with a nearly 40-year history of “Protecting What’s Right” for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals and government and business entities in areas as diverse as dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices, environmental contamination, the Gulf oil spill, financial fraud, overtime violations, deceptive advertising, automotive defects, trucking accidents, nursing home abuse, and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.