The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a class of nationwide Volkswagen franchise dealerships, alleging the emissions scandal has caused great harm to franchise dealers, who, in some cases, have seen their profits erased and their dealerships plummet in value.
The issue revolves around VW’s use of a “defeat device” installed in some 600,000 vehicles in the US, which were allegedly designed to cheat emissions detection tests. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, vehicles fitted with defeat devices emit as much as 40 times the standard for nitrogen oxides.
While Volkswagen has stated its commitment to fixing the problem, not all of Volkswagen’s 600 franchise dealers are prepared to wait indefinitely for the company to either come up with a fix or reimburse them.
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The lawsuit makes claims under the federal Automobile Dealers’ Day in Court Act and the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, alleging that Volkswagen and Robert Bosch GmbH, which supplied the defeat device, conspired to commit fraud.
Meanwhile, the consumer-based defeat device class actions have been coordinated into Multidistrict litigation (MDL) in San Francisco before US District Judge Charles Breyer. Volkswagen and federal regulators have been given until April 21 to come up with a plan to fix the cars.