Catching up. Last week, we filed Bricker v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., U.S. District Court Case No. 3:15-cv-01785-PK (D. Or.) Along with my frequent collaborator, Oregon attorney Tim Quenelle, I joined forces with my friends at colleagues at Cohen & Malad from Indianapolis.
For those who like such things, here is a copy of the complaint: 1 – Complaint. The case is filed as a national class action. It protects the interests of anyone who purchased or leased one of the affected VW Group vehicles.
The case arises out of the well-publicized diesel engine fraud for Volkswagen “clean diesel” vehicles. In selling various VW and Audi diesel vehicles, the Volkswagen Group represented that these vehicles were high mileage and way low on emissions. As has been widely noted in the press, the high-dollar fraud rested upon sophisticated cheat code or defeat device that switched the vehicles’ operating modes when they were being operated in a parked condition for emissions testing.
The “clean” low-emissions mode did not and could not operate while actual consumers drove the vehicles. Instead of driving green, clean diesel cars, class members were driving dirty diesel vehicles that violated pollution standards.
People paid premium prices for these clean vehicles. In Oregon and Washington, especially, green consumers pay extra for earth-friendly products. VW hyped that clean, green technology in its sales and marketing efforts, and they made a mint. The clean diesel products pushed VW to the number one position in worldwide car sales.
No surprise that we’re hearing from a lot of people. We’ve developed an initial information email for those who have questions. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you need more information, and we’ll mail out the initial information. (I have not posted it here because doing so destroys confidentiality. And we really, really don’t want to do that.)
The case is almost certainly going to be treated as a multi-district litigation (“MDL”) case. When cases are assigned to the MDL, the rules and processes are different. Once it is assigned–probably not for a few months–I’ll update with more information.
In addition to our email packet, I would recommend connecting with us on Facebook if you are concerned about these issues. We tend to post there more frequently. And of course, if our information and FB posts don’t answer your questions, feel free to call or email.