After admitting that it programmed 485,000 cars sold in the U.S. between 2009 and 2015 with rigged emissions-testing equipment, Volkswagen may be forced to buy the vehicles back from defrauded consumers. A lawsuit was recently filed in California against the automotive giant seeking to force the company to buy back nearly 70,000 those vehicles sold in that state immediately.
Reportedly, the vehicles' emissions exceed the allowed standards by between 10 and 40 percent. The lawsuit argues that waiting for Volkswagen to make repairs on the vehicles to fix their faulty and rigged emissions systems could take a year or longer. The lawsuit also points out that the cars are technically not legal to drive, making waiting for repairs difficult. The plaintiffs also contend that if the vehicles were repaired, they would not operate as promised and would be more sluggish.
While vehicle buybacks do not occur very often, they are not unheard of. In July, Fiat Chrysler agreed through negotiations with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, to buy back in excess of 500,000 Dodge Rams and other automobiles for steering problems. Analysts believe that Volkswagen will attempt to quickly settle the pending lawsuits in order to end the negative coverage the company is receiving.
Defective vehicles can lead to catastrophic car accidents, resulting in serious injuries or even deaths. When people are injured or killed in an accident caused by a vehicle defect, they or their families may sue the vehicle's manufacturer in order to seek recovery of the compensation they deserve. Those who believe their car accident was caused by a defect may want to seek help from an attorney who has experience with these types of matters. Legal counsel may investigate the potential defect, using experts as needed to determine if it was the cause.