When a faulty purchase causes you to hire a product liability lawyer, chances are you aren’t the only one who needs one. This fact has become clear with the ongoing case of Volkswagen’s Turbo Diesel Injection (TDI) cars. If any of the people who purchased a diesel Volkswagen had noticed that the car’s emissions were much higher than advertised, they might have assumed that they had been sold a damaged product.
Instead, it turns out that Volkswagen was systematically subverting regulations and selling its customers products that did not meet industry standards. Millions of customers were sold these cars, and this week Volkswagen reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency to pay nearly $15 billion in damages to the government and people who purchased the vehicles.
The damages will be distributed as follows:
- Over $10 billion will go toward repairing the approximately 475,000 affected cars, or buying them back from the owners.
- $2.7 billion will go into a trust fund for Environmental remediation, overseen by the EPA.
- $2 billion will be spent investing in clean energy technology to offset the environmental effects of the vehicles.
Customers who own the vehicles will have the option of Volkswagen repairing their vehicle for free, or selling it back to Volkswagen based on its market price in September 2015, before the scandal broke. Whichever option they choose, customer will also receive an additional $5,100-$10,000 as part of the terms the government reached.
This settlement is the biggest auto settlement in U.S. history, and it won’t be the last. As carmakers continue to look for competitive advantages, there is every chance that more defects will be found.
If you believe that your car has defective parts or systems that have lowered its value, speak with the South Bay defective product lawyers at Kirtland & Packard, LLP for a free initial consultation. We can be reached at 310-536-1000, and serve clients in Torrance, South Bay, Redondo Beach, and throughout southern California.