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New Jersey Lawsuit Filed against Volkswagen Over VW Emissions Scandal

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Jersey City, NJThe state of New Jersey is following the lead of other jurisdictions in filing a Volkswagen lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and other defendants, alleging consumer fraud and violations of The Clean Air Act. It’s just the latest arrow in the quiver of seemingly endless litigation since September of last year, when the emissions scandal broke.

Volkswagen, the proud German automaker that grew from the original “People’s Car” - The Volkswagen Beetle - was early amongst manufacturers equipping passenger cars with diesel engines for the longevity and fuel efficiency that diesel engines are known for. However, diesels have historically been characterized as having a high emissions output. In recent years technology has reduced emissions significantly, but is also prohibitively expensive and well beyond the capacity for the typical car owner to afford.

In recent years Volkswagen has been putting a push on diesel cars that were promoted as being far more emissions-friendly than diesels of yesteryear, and consumers responded.

And then came September, when it was revealed that Volkswagen had built into some 11 million cars a defeat device that translated to sleight of hand for a favorable emissions report, only to allow the car to spew 40 times the allowable level of emissions into the atmosphere at all other times, or so it has been alleged.

This is what the state of New Jersey is alleging in its VW Lawsuit, characterizing the emissions scandal as “one of the largest frauds in the history of the automobile industry,” according to court documents.

The Volkswagen Recall Lawsuit - not unlike others previously filed in New Mexico and other jurisdictions - was brought earlier this month by Attorney General John J. Hoffman on behalf of the state of New Jersey and consumers allegedly duped into paying a premium for diesel-equipped cars promoted as falling within guidelines set forth by the Clean Air Act.

“Like any other business - large or small - automakers have an obligation to represent the products they sell honestly, and to ensure those products comply with all applicable laws,” Hoffman said February 5, when the New Jersey Volkswagen Lawsuit was filed. “When they fail to do so, as we allege was the case with Volkswagen, we will hold them accountable.”

The lawsuit alleges violations of the New Jersey Air Pollution Control Act and the Consumer Fraud Act. Hoffman is also seeking restitution for the owners of some 17,400 affected vehicles registered in the state of New Jersey.

Hoffman, in his statement, referenced Volkswagen’s alleged emissions fraud as a decade-long scheme that served to materially harm consumers having bought into the favorable emissions claims, paying a premium for vehicles that are now - prior to a VW Recall - worth less than they might be otherwise, given the assumed capacity for optimum emissions performance. The attorney general for the state of New Jersey also noted that Volkswagen’s promotion and marketing of its cleaner-burning diesel engines proved “extremely successful” and translated into significant growth and revenue “at the expense of the unsuspecting public.”

Hoffman also noted the environment took a significant hit as well, due to the alleged deception carried out by the automaker.

Audi and Porsche are also named as defendants in the New Jersey VW lawsuit. The case is John J. Hoffman v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc. et al. in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Hudson County.

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READER COMMENTS

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A friend of mine bought VW Passat 2.0 diesel. The vehicle was eligible for a lawsuit . But because the car was exported to Poland they say is no longer eligible .can you help

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