Audi named in class action lawsuit for use of emissions defeat devices in gasoline vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions

 

Plaintiff brings this action in connection with Audi’s practice of equipping certain gasoline vehicles with an illegal “defeat device” designed to evade governmental emissions regulations by tricking the public and regulators into thinking the vehicles emit far less noxious carbon dioxide gas (“CO2”) than they actually do.

In September 2015, and again in November 2015, Volkswagen and Audi admitted using defeat device software to activate emissions controls when diesel cars were being smog tested and deactivate those controls during normal, on-road driving. Volkswagen, Audi AG’s parent company, took the position that the diesel defeat device was an isolated incident, which it dubiously blamed on “rogue engineers.”

As alleged, it was not an isolated incident, and the unlawful activity was not perpetrated by a few “rogue engineers” but by hundreds of personnel throughout the companies.

Moreover, Audi’s unlawful activity was not limited to its diesel vehicles. It has recently been reported that Audi has been hiding its use of a completely different defeat device on additional gasoline vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions.

The vehicles containing the illegal defeat device include at least those vehicles Audi equipped with (1) a ZF 8HP55 “AL551” transmission, including but not limited to, the A6, A8, Q5, and Q 7 or (2) a DL 501-7Q “DL 501” transmission, including, but not limited to, the Audi S4, S5, S6, and S7 models (collectively the “Affected Vehicles”). In those vehicles, Audi installed software which detects when the vehicle undergoes emissions and mileage testing and then programs the car to shift into each higher gear sooner, thus reducing engine RPM, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions. But otherwise, during normal driving operation, the cars’ shift points are higher, resulting in more power and acceleration, but increased fuel consumption, lower MPG, and higher CO2 emissions.

Audi sold the Affected Vehicles to Plaintiff and Class members without informing them of the existence of the defeat devices, and by falsely representing to them that the Affected Vehicles were compliant with all relevant emissions standards when in normal use. Audi also falsely represented the fuel efficiency of the Affected Vehicles.

Because the existence of the defeat devices was concealed, Plaintiff and the Class members were unaware that the vehicles they purchased were equipped with illegal defeat devices. Plaintiff and Class members suffered damages as a result of Audi’s misrepresentations and omissions regarding the defeat device. Plaintiff would not have purchased the Affected Vehicle at all and/or—if the Affected Vehicle’s true nature had been disclosed and mitigated, and the Affected Vehicle rendered legal to sell—would have paid significantly less for it. At the very least, Plaintiff and Class members overpaid for their vehicles, which are incapable of providing the balance of performance, fuel efficiency, and cleanliness that Audi advertised. Plaintiff and Class members have also suffered diminution of vehicle value now that the existence of the defeat device has been revealed.

Complaint

Audi named in class action over use of illegal defeat devices on at least its 3.0-liter gasoline Q5, Q 7, A6 and A8 models equipped with automatic transmissions

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In September 2015, and again in November 2015, Volkswagen and Audi admitted using defeat device software to activate emissions controls when diesel cars were being smog tested and deactivate those controls during normal, on-road driving. Volkswagen, Audi AG’s parent company, took the position that the diesel defeat device was an isolated incident, which it dubiously blamed on “rogue engineers.”

According to the complaint, it was not an isolated incident, and the unlawful activity was not perpetrated by a few “rogue engineers” but by hundreds of personnel throughout the companies.

Moreover, Audi’s unlawful activity was not limited to its diesel vehicles. It has recently been reported that Audi has been hiding its use of a completely different defeat device on at least its 3.0-liter gasoline Q5, Q 7, A6 and A8 models equipped with automatic transmissions.

In those cars, Audi installed software which detects when the vehicle undergoes emissions and mileage testing and then programs the car to shift into each higher gear sooner, thus reducing engine RPM, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions. But otherwise, during normal driving operation, the cars’ shift points are higher, resulting in more power and acceleration, but increased fuel consumption, lower MPG, and higher CO2 emissions.

Plaintiffs purchased Audi models. Audi represented in the “Monroney Stickers” on the vehicles Plaintiffs purchased the estimated fuel efficiency for the vehicles, and represented that Plaintiffs’ vehicles emitted a certain amount of carbon dioxide per mile. Upon information and belief, these representations were false. Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs, the vehicles purchased were surreptitiously equipped with a “defeat device” designed to limit emissions and increase fuel efficiency when the vehicle was being subjected to regulatory emissions and fuel efficiency testing, but not during regular use. As a result, the actual CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency of Plaintiffs’ vehicles are materially different from the representations set forth on the Monroney Stickers and in advertisements and marketing representations made by Audi to consumers.

Plaintiffs bring this proposed class action for damages on behalf of themselves and all other persons and entities nationwide who purchased or leased an Audi vehicle equipped with the defeat device, including but not limited to A6, A8, Q5 and Q7 models with 3.0 liter gasoline engines and automatic transmissions, and perhaps others (collectively, the “Affected Vehicles”).

Plaintiffs and members of the class all suffered damages as a result of Audi’s misrepresentations and omissions regarding the defeat device. Plaintiffs and class members overpaid to purchase vehicles incapable of providing the balance of performance, efficiency, and cleanliness that Audi represented these Affected Vehicles to offer. Plaintiffs and the class members have also suffered diminution of vehicle value now that the existence of the defeat devices has been revealed publicly. Accordingly, Plaintiffs and similarly situated owners and lessees of the Affected Vehicles are entitled to compensation for their losses, including losses related to increased fuel expenditures.

Complaint

Audi named in class action lawsuit over falsifying fuel efficiency numbers

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Plaintiff purchased an Audi, model A8, in or around March 2013. According to Audi’s representations contained in the “Monroney Sticker” on the vehicle Plaintiff purchased, Plaintiff’s vehicle emitted 418 grams of carbon dioxide per mile and had estimated fuel efficiency of 18 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Upon information and belief, these representations were false. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff, the vehicle he purchased was, upon information and belief, surreptitiously equipped with a “defeat device” designed to limit emissions and increase fuel efficiency when the vehicle was being subjected to regulatory emissions and fuel efficiency testing, but not during regular use. As a result, the actual emissions and/or fuel efficiency of Plaintiff’s vehicle are materially different from the representations set forth on the Monroney Sticker and in advertisements and marketing representations made by Audi to consumers. Upon information and belief, at least Audi models equipped with the “AL 551” transmission employ this defeat device. But testing may reveal additional Audi gasoline engine models have been rigged to cheat emissions and fuel efficiency testing.

Plaintiff brings this proposed class action for damages on behalf of himself and all other persons and entities nationwide who purchased or leased an Audi vehicle equipped with the defeat device, including but not limited to A6, A8, Q5 and Q7 models with 3.0 liter gasoline engines and automatic transmissions, and perhaps others (collectively, the “Affected Vehicles”).

As alleged, Plaintiff and members of the class all suffered damages as a result of Audi’s misrepresentations and omissions regarding the defeat device. Plaintiff and class members overpaid to purchase vehicles incapable of providing the balance of performance, efficiency, and cleanliness that Audi represented them to offer. Plaintiff and the class members have also suffered diminution of vehicle value now that the existence of the defeat devices has been revealed publicly. Accordingly, Plaintiff and similarly situated owners and lessees of the Affected Vehicles are entitled to compensation for their losses, including losses related to increased fuel expenditures.

Complaint

Investigation of Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi over use of soy-based wiring susceptible to destruction by vermin

Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi drivers have complained of numerous electrical issues and failures caused by a variety of vermin gnawing, chewing and ultimately eating through the electrical wires powering these cars.  Upon information and belief the manufacturers of these vehicles use soy based sheathing on the electrical wires that attracts a wide variety of vermin such as mice, rodents, rats, squirrels and even animals as large as possums. Depending on the wires that are damaged, this may lead to a variety of problems resulting in hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in repairs.  In addition to the effect on a variety of electrical systems, which itself poses a safety hazard to drivers and vehicle occupants, these animals may carry disease and therefore pose an additional health hazard by their presence in vehicles.

Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi manufacturers are manifestly aware that use of an organic based sheathing on wiring components has attracted a variety of vermin, and caused hundreds, if not thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to affected vehicles.  Despite this knowledge, manufacturers have refused to accept responsibility for the damage and routinely reject consumer claims both in and out of warranty, placing the onus of the entire bill on the car owners.

We believe this practice is unfair and potentially actionable. If your car has been affected by this issue and you wish to discuss your legal rights and potential remedies please use the contact attorney box below.  Also, if you wish to share your story publicly, we welcome your comments below.