The EPA issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. on September 18, 2015. The NOV alleges that four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 include software that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants. The software produced by Volkswagen is a “defeat device,” as defined by the Clean Air Act. California is separately issuing an In-Use Compliance letter to Volkswagen, and EPA and the California Air Resources Board have both initiated investigations based on Volkswagen’s alleged actions.
Affected diesel models include:
- Jetta (MY 2009 – 2015)
- Jetta Sportwagen (MY 2009-2014)
- Beetle (MY 2012 – 2015)
- Beetle Convertible (MY 2012-2015)
- Audi A3 (MY 2010 – 2015)
- Golf (MY 2010 – 2015)
- Golf Sportwagen (MY 2015)
- Passat (MY 2012-2015)
A number of class actions have been filed across the country alleging fraud and violations of various state consumer laws relating to the above notice.
As generally alleged, Volkswagen engaged in conduct consisting of both advertising on television, the radio, and the internet, and making sales representations to specific consumers using the telephone and the internet, regarding Volkswagen made were substantially similar, and included representations that: the automobiles were in compliance with lawful regulations, including federal EPA and state pollution control statutes; that the automobiles were “clean” and represented a more environmentally friendly type of automobile; and that the automobiles would, when in compliance with federal EPA and state pollution control regulations, provide particular horsepower, torque, and fuel mileage figures. These representations were all false and constitute racketeering which further harmed Plaintiffs and the Class.