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Volkswagen Recall Affects Half Million Cars in U.S.

Posted on September 22, 2015

The largest car company in the world is in trouble for trying to make millions of diesel cars seem cleaner than they are. Volkswagen is facing recalls of 11 million cars throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. The models affected include the VW Jetta, Beetle, and Golf from 2009 through 2015, the Passat from 2014-2015, and the 2009-2015 model Audi A3. About 488,000 VW and Audi brand vehicles equipped with diesel engines have been recalled here in the United States. Volkswagen has stopped sales of cars with those engines.

Volkswagen vehicles were built with software that was used to cheat on emissions tests. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that Volkswagen used the software to trick regulators between 2008 and 2015. The software allowed the cars to emit above legal limits of pollutants while on the road, but reduced the pollution during emissions testing. Once testing was over, the vehicles would switch to a different mode that allowed emission levels to go up by as much as 40 times. The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly begun a criminal investigation.

Volkswagen hasn’t announced how it plans to fully correct the diesel emissions problem for the cars currently on American roads. VW said it has set aside half a year’s profits (about $7.3 billion) to cover the cost of fixing cars and cover civil lawsuits it expects. The company said it hoped the money would “win back the trust” of customers. According to EPA rules, VW could be fined up to $37,500 for each vehicle not in compliance with emissions regulations, or a total of around $18 billion.

Automakers now have an obligation to build cars that are not only safe for passengers, but also the environment. When a large auto company fails to follow the rules, it doesn’t just put people in danger, but the planet itself. If you own a Volkswagen manufactured after 2008, you could be driving a harmful and environmentally dangerous car. Contact the Florida automobile product liability attorneys at Farah & Farah to discuss your next steps. We can be reached at (800) 533-3555.