Buying a new car is exciting and fun. We all shop to find a vehicle that fits our personality and has the features we need. Fuel efficiency is a key factor in choosing a vehicle, and for many of us, the resale value and environmental impact are also of particular importance. The emphasis on a cleaner diesel engine is what lead over 11 million consumers to choose a Volkswagen with turbocharged direct injection (TDI). From 2009 to 2015, many vehicles with this engine were secretly built with a “defeat device” that only operated the engine’s emission control systems during testing. The addition of this device means that when these vehicles are in operation, their emission control systems aren’t working, leading to thousands of tons of pollution being emitted, and vehicles violating emissions standards. In September 2015, an independent lab discovered the defeat device during vehicle testing. Upon learning of the addition of this device, and Volkswagen’s attempt to defraud consumers and government agencies, angry Volkswagen owners began to file a suit. If you bought an affected vehicle for the increased mileage and lessened environmental impact, you’re likely left feeling deceived and defrauded, and you now own a vehicle with greatly reduced resale value.
In response to this scandal, a class action lawsuit has been brought against Volkswagen, and you may be wondering if you should file a claim with the pending action or file suit independently. Anyone with a Volkswagen affected by the scandal can file a suit against the company, but there are important factors to consider. In filing independently, you may find an attorney to take your case on a contingency basis, but all the costs and effort associated with investigating your claim and recovering any awarded damages are your responsibility. In a class action lawsuit, an individual or group acts as representative for affected consumers. The attorneys representing the group handle the investigation needs to prove the fraud and the losses to the consumers that resulted from it. This is a great advantage to the consumer, as these firms have greater resources available than an individual. Any attorney fees and associated costs will be paid from awarded funds, so there is no cost for the affected consumers. In order to make your most informed decision, it is wise to consult with an attorney. Call Best Local Attorney today to speak with a skilled, experienced attorney.