Posted on April 19, 2019 in Automotive Products Liability
As reported by ABC news, Ex Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and four others were charged by German prosecutors on Monday, April 15 for fraud in the emissions cheating scandal and unfair competition.
Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal
The scheme involved upper management who wanted to make it look like Volkswagen vehicles met U.S. limits on harmful pollutants known as nitrogen oxides. It was accomplished by installing illegal software with pollution controls into 11 million cars worldwide and enabling it during testing then turning it off for regular driving. Prosecutors allege that Winterkorn knew about this fraud since at least May, 2014 but did not stop it. For his part, Winterkorn claimed that he did not know about the fraudulent action until just before U.S. investigators announced it in September, 2015. The other four defendants are all top Volkswagen managers and were allegedly part of the scheme that began in 2006. Prosecutors said they are still investigating 36 more suspects. The defendants each face six months to 10 years in prison and the possible forfeiture of millions in sales bonuses if convicted of aggravated fraud involving serious losses. Winterkorn was already under indictment in the U.S. on charges of fraud and conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. If he was extradited, tried and found guilty he could face up to 20 years in U.S. prison. Since the scheme became public, Volkswagen has paid 31 billion euros in fines and civil settlements to authorities and car owners.
Diesel engine sales have dropped since the scandal broke
When the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke, people started looking into diesel emissions across the industry. What they found was that many models from several car manufacturers were also emitting far more pollution than the amount that they had shown in test results because of the widespread use of regulatory loopholes. Since then, European sales of diesel vehicles have dropped and carmakers are producing fewer diesel-powered vehicles. A positive result has been increased pressure and plans to invest in battery-powered vehicles.
Products liability claims
If you lost a loved one or were injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle, you may be able to recover damages with the help of a defective products attorney. An attorney who specializes in this area can determine if you have a defective product claim to make against the manufacturer, retailer or distributor by identifying the types and amounts of damages you have suffered and the cause of the accident. In some cases defective products affect a large number of people; bringing the possibility of joining or starting a class action lawsuit. If you believe that you suffered an injury from a defective product because of the negligence of another; contact a defective products attorney for a consultation. The attorney can identify the defendant and the value of your claim and gather evidence to show whether the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by negligence and that they caused damages.
If you have lost a loved one or been injured through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced personal injury attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!