Dieselgate: Another Name for Plain Old Fraud


December 16, 2015 / Personal Injury

It’s being called “Dieselgate”—the outrageous cheating that Volkswagen engaged in when it came to using its specially-modified emissions software to fake the test results for its TDI “clean diesel” engines. Lawsuits are emerging that involve a number of charges, most of which argue the point that Volkswagen duped buyers with its erroneous claims of engine performance. Without a doubt, owners want—and deserve—compensation for the premium prices they paid to own a TDI vehicle, and for the now sharply-reduced resale value of those same vehicles. Owners who bought cars they believed were better for the environment feel swindled, and not just monetarily.

As of the last count, there are 11 million of you worldwide. About a half-million cars in the U.S. have been recalled.

Counting the Costs

Without a doubt, Volkswagen will suffer a high cost for the massive recall. They will have to pay to fix the engines, pony up for colossal fines, and cover countless legal fees. Of course, sales have taken an ongoing hit ever since Dieselgate broke. Financially, VW has a tough road ahead of it.

Then there’s the loss of trust. Some people will never buy a Volkswagen product now. Those who have done so feel anger and remorse. A number of people might also end up in jail; possible criminal prosecutions of employees and executives are not out of the question. Finally, there are the environmental costs of those dirty engines over many years, some at 40 or more times the legal limits for pollutants.

If you own one of the Dieselgate cars, it is still safe and legal to drive. The emissions fixes themselves will not cost you any money, though they may cost you some engine performance. There’s no question that the drop in resale value will take money out of your pocket.

Indiana Dieselgate Lawsuits

In October, 2015, the first Dieselgate claims were filed against Volkswagen by Indiana vehicle owners. The local suits were filed by a man in Carmel and a woman in Fort Wayne; both own VW TDI Jettas. Charges include breach of contract, fraudulent concealment, and a violation of Indiana’s Consumer Deceptive Sales Act. Both owners are looking for punitive damages and other monetary relief in addition to the fixing of the emissions problems.

The Carmel man states in his suit that, “The use of the ‘defeat device’ by Volkswagen has or will cause potential out-of-pocket losses, future attempted repairs, and diminished value of this vehicle.”

The Cars Affected by Dieselgate

If you own one of the following diesel vehicles, you are most likely part of Dieselgate:

  • Volkswagen Touareg (2013-2016)
  • Volkswagen Passat (2012-2015)
  • Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (2009-2015)
  • Volkswagen Jetta (2009-2015)
  • Volkswagen Golf SportWagen (2015)
  • Volkswagen Golf (2010-2015)
  • Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle Convertible (2012-2015)
  • Porsche Cayenne (2014-2016)
  • Audi Q7 (2013-2015)
  • Audi Q5 (2014-2016)
  • Audi A8/A8L (2014-2016)
  • Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016)
  • Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016)
  • Audi A3 (2010-2015).

As an owner of one of these cars, perhaps you feel wronged, because you thought you had advanced, clean engine technology. If you own one of the cars above, you may be able to file a claim against Volkswagen, as others have already done in Indiana.

When something goes wrong, we are left to wonder.

At Stephenson Rife, we have proven experience in helping people hurt in Indiana by defective automobiles. If you own one of the Volkswagen Corporation vehicles listed above and think you have a case, call Mike Stephenson today. You can trust Mike—he will listen to you and keep his word. However, remember that in Indiana there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. Call Mike for a free initial consultation at 1-317-825-5200 or contact us using our online form. Stephenson Rife. When others breach their duty, we keep ours.

Attorney Mike Stephenson

Attorney Mike StephensonMike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, and fire, just to name a few. He also works extensively in construction accidents. [ Attorney Bio ]

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