Volkswagen Faces Litigation from Angry Car Owners and Dealers

By Greg Kohn

What can I do if I own a “clean diesel” Volkswagen?

If you own a “clean diesel” Volkswagen, you are certainly already aware of the bad news. Volkswagen had misrepresented the ability of their cars to both comply with EPA regulations and produce advertised performance for their owners. At the present time, owners fear that their cars are not operable, at least in the short term. Many say that to allow Volkswagen to fix the cars is not enough. This is because if the cars are adjusted to comply with EPA regulations they will not be able to perform as well as they had previously. Owners claim that they paid for performance. Therefore, some owners are asking for their money back.

Many suits have already been filed around the country in various jurisdictions. At this point, some plaintiffs are coordinating their suits into class actions. To further strengthen their case, they plan to coordinate the class actions in front of a single judge. The big question, therefore, is where the cases should be filed.

It is important to group as many claims together as possible in litigation; there is strength in numbers. An experienced litigator will recognize the importance of selecting the proper method of resolving the dispute — such as a state court case, a federal court case, mediation, negotiation, arbitration, etc – and the proper forum – such as which state the case should be filed. The method, and the forum, are important questions of strategy that can affect the outcome of a case.

Diane Sammons of Nagel Rice has made the case for grouping the class actions together in New Jersey. She points out that Volkswagen is incorporated in New Jersey, and maintains its Eastern U.S. Regional Office, test-vehicle fleet, parts distribution center, technical center, and products liaison group in New Jersey.

If you own a Volkswagen “clean diesel” automobile, or are a dealer who owns such automobiles, give Nagel Rice a call to discuss your options. Call our New York office at 212-551-1465 or our New Jersey office at 973-618-0400.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.