Experienced Representation in Austin Area
On September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Volkswagen of employing secret software to cheat emissions detection systems. To that end, regulators are recalling over 492,000 Volkswagen vehicles around the United States. All told, over 11 million vehicles around the globe may be affected by this action.
The scandal over VW’s secret software could lead to jail time for the company’s top executives, massive damage to the brand and complex litigation that promises to dominate auto news for the next year.
Vehicles Affected by the Volkswagen Recall
Do You Own One of These Cars?
- 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta (including Jetta SportWagen)
- 2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf (including Golf SportWagen)
- 2010-2015 Audi A3
- 2010-2015 Volkswagen Beetle (including the Beetle Convertible)
- 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat
Note: Not all diesel cars produced by Volkswagen and Audi contain the emissions hiding software.
If you own a Volkswagen affected by this recall, this letter explains in detail what happened and what you as a consumer need to do next to preserve your rights and obtain fair compensation.
Volkswagen’s Internal Investigation: The Findings
Volkswagen has expressed hope to do damage control, learn from its mistakes, and maintain its customers’ loyalty and high regard. Per an internal investigation, the company aims to do the following:
- Rethink how VW communicates with employees. The investigation found that corporate messaging negatively influenced employees and contributed to the “defeat device” scandal. Going forward, VW wants the
messages it sends to employees to be consistent and ethical and to support a healthy company culture.
- Create a clear identity and act in accordance with it. What are the cultural expectations within Volkswagen, and how will everyone in the organization be held accountable for meeting them? For example,
honesty and transparency must take priority in the drive to meet sales goals and develop competitive products.
- Connect culture, brand, and purpose. When different branches fail to work together to present a consistent image, the company suffers. Marketing may offer one image of the company,for instance, while employees who build Volkswagen’s products have different goals. Volkswagen should focus on producing a consistent, aligned approach.
- Monitor the strength of culture, brand,purpose, and identity. Volkswagen must track and monitor changes in employees’ behavior. Will the company move closer to its stated goals,or not? If challenges arise, how will the company deal with them?
Volkswagen Agrees to $1 Billion to Compensate U.S. Diesel Owners
Volkswagen has set aside over $1 billion dollars to compensate owners of vehicles with the emission cheating software. This amount is intended to resolve the numerous class action cases that have been consolidated in the Federal MDL in San Francisco. At this time, Volkswagen has only agreed on a maximum amount of money it will pay. How that money will be allocated and distributed remains to be seen.
Shaw Cowart plans to pursue claims here in Texas as an individual lawsuit, meaning we will likely recommend our clients to opt out of the Federal MDL class settlement, once given the opportunity. Texas residents have the ability to sue for additional damages under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This gives a plaintiff like you the right to claim up to three times the amount of actual damages, in addition to attorney’s fees.
While there are no guarantees, it is our belief that pursuing claims in Texas, as opposed to opting into the class action settlement, would maximize recovery.
Call us today at 512-499-8900 to discuss your possible claim against Volkswagen.