DOJ Files Suit Against Volkswagen


On behalf of the EPA, the Department of Justice officially filed a civil complaint against Volkswagen and its subsidiaries under Sections 204 and 205 of the Clean Air Act. This complaint is separate from the class action lawsuit against Volkswagen currently in progress.

The suit accuses Volkswagen of installing rogue devices in its vehicles in order to game emissions inspections. Furthermore, the suit alleges that the vehicles were approved for commercial sale, import, and distribution via applications for certification to EPA and the California Air Resources Board with the illegal components’ inclusion purposely omitted from the paperwork. Motor vehicles cannot receive certification if they possess illegal defeat devices in their manufacture.

Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden admonished the actions of Volkswagen in an official release from the Department of Justice. “Car manufacturers that fail to properly certify their cars and that defeat emission control systems breach the public trust, endanger public health and disadvantage competitors,” he said.

Other ulterior strategies were proactively used by Volkswagen, the suit alleges. Some 3.0-liter vehicles with sensing software were designed to operate in a “temperature conditioning” mode when undergoing emissions testing. This process effectively allowed cars to meet emissions standards while being tested, yet, when operating as normal, cars could release NOx emissions in excess of nine times the federal standard.

NOx pollutants are linked to a slew of respiratory illnesses and irritations that can be harmful to children and the elderly. Recent studies have indicated that NOx can damage lung tissue and cause premature death.

The Department of Justice has released the following list of affected car models produced by the Volkswagen company:

Affected 2.0-liter diesel models and model years include:

  • Jetta (2009-2015)
  • Jetta Sportwagen (2009-2014)
  • Beetle (2013-2015)
  • Beetle Convertible (2013-2015)
  • Audi A3 (2010-2015)
  • Golf (2010-2015)
  • Golf Sportwagen (2015)
  • Passat (2012-2015)

Affected 3.0 liter diesel models and model years include:

  • Volkswagen Touareg (2009-2016)
  • Porsche Cayenne (2013-2016)
  • Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016)
  • Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016)
  • Audi A8 (2014 – 2016)
  • Audi A8L (2014-2016)
  • Audi Q5 (2014-2016)
  • Audi Q7 (2009-2015)

If you or someone you love owns a defective vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of value of your car or for any health conditions you experienced since purchasing the car. Contact Morgan & Morgan for more information about your legal options.