VW fined up to $18B, will have to answer to deceived customers who bought vehicles in question
NPR says that on Tuesday, German carmaker Volkswagen acknowledged that 11 million of its diesel engine cars sold worldwide were equipped with software to cheat on emission tests. In a video statement, Martin Winterkorn, chief executive of VW, said the deception was the result of “the grave efforts of a very few” employees. Repercussions are just beginning: The EPA may impose fines of up to $18 billion, the Justice Department has reportedly opened a criminal probe, the company’s stock price has plummeted and its reputation, at this point, is in something of a free fall.
The legal issue is this: VW, through its marketers, dealers and salespeople, deceived consumers into purchasing certain requirements and that consumers purchasing those vehicles were harmed from these actions. The consumers who purchased those cars paid a premium for these diesel engines and are now left with vehicles that will do not meet air quality standards and whose potential fix may reduce the fuel economy and/or performance of the vehicle, as well as impacting negatively any future resale value.