Edmonton, Canada: A $1-billion consumer fraud class action lawsuit has been filed in Edmonton against Volkswagen stemming from the admission by the automaker that it sold vehicles that were designed to skirt emissions laws.
Volkswagen has revealed that it had installed defeat devices in 11 million vehicles worldwide. The devices are designed to pass emissions tests, but revert to producing emissions vastly in excess of emission standards once the tests are over.
The lawsuit states that "by manufacturing, testing, distributing and selling affected vehicles with defeat devices that allowed for improper levels of emission, Volkswagen violated the common law and legislative standards, was negligent, defrauded its customers, and engaged in unfair competition."
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that had the plaintiffs known of the defeat device, "they would not have purchased or leased those vehicles, or would have paid substantially less for the vehicles than they did."
The complaint criticizes the alleged fraudulent behaviour as "high-handed and reckless, intentional, fraudulent or grossly negligent," worthy of a penalty that "recognizes the purposes of class actions" while protecting consumers and punishing or deterring "wrongful corporate conduct."
There is also concern regarding loss of value to the vehicles on resale, the trouble consumers will be put through in order to get their vehicles repaired so they meet Canadian emission standards, and whether in fact the vehicles can even be repaired without significant loss to power and performance.
The following Volkswagen models re named in the action:
2009-2015 VW Golf
2009-2015 Audi A3
The plaintiffs are represented by James H. Brown & Associates.