Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, spoke at length to Bloomberg Business reporter Alan Levin in a story, “Volkswagen Owners Want Payback.” (Sept. 21, 2015) Clifford spoke about the disappointment of the dozens of people who have called his office in the wake of the deceptive and untruthful advertising as well as its apparent intentional dishonest conduct in stating the environmentally friendly diesel engine models were, in fact, quite the opposite – instead spewing up to 40 times beyond the legal limit of the pollutant nitrous oxide that creates greater smog in the air. “‘This is as big a thing as I’ve seen on the legal landscape in a long time,'” Clifford told Levin in the story. Three reporters combined efforts in reporting the story about several models of the Volkswagen – the Passat, the Beetle, the Jetta, the Golf and the Audi A3 – that have been recalled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for this violation of the Clean Air Act and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations as well as state consumer laws. Some half million vehicles are affected.
The Bloomberg story reports that several federal investigations are underway including by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice. Clifford Law Offices filed the complaint Monday (Sept. 21, 2015) in federal district court in Chicago on behalf of two Jetta owners, one in Chicago and the other from Indiana. Both said they would not have bought the car or would have paid much less had they been aware that the environmentally friendly feature of the car was not present, the complaint alleges. The Bloomberg story also reports that the popular online car pricing website, Edmonds.com, is advising consumers who own such cars that they are now worth less than before if they are thinking of re-selling these vehicles. The story reports that the only way to fix the problem may be to cut horsepower and fuel economy, another touted feature that these cars get excellent gas mileage. Owners may be facing higher prices at the tank.