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Louisville Attorney Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against Volkswagen

Volkswagen_Jetta_Diesel_Sedan
Wikimedia Commons
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A Louisville attorney has filed a class-action lawsuiton behalf of Kentucky residents who purchased Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” vehicles — the cars that were found this month to have software designed to cheat pollution tests.

The company admitted Tuesday that it had installed “defeat devices” in 11 million of its newer diesel vehicles worldwide. The cars — 500,000 of which are in the U.S. — meet emissions standard testing in the laboratory, but otherwise emit as much as 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than allowed under federal law. The affected diesel vehicles are 2009-2015 Jettas, 2010-2015 Audi A3s and Golfs, and 2012-2015 Beetles and Passats.

Attorney Alex Davis filed the lawsuit on behalf of Louisville resident Robert Wagner. According to the filing, Wagner paid a premium for his 2015 Volkswagen Golf because of its “clean diesel” advertising.

From the lawsuit:

"None of the advertisements reviewed or representations received by Plaintiff contained any disclosure relating to the “defeat device” or that Volkswagen had purposefully falsified its certification of EPA compliance. Had Volkswagen disclosed that the CleanDiesel in his vehicle actually emitted 40 times the permitted levels of pollutants, including NOx, he would not have purchased his vehicle with the CleanDiesel engine, or would have paid less for the vehicle."

This isn’t the only class-action lawsuit filed against Volkswagen this week, in light of the emissions scandal. According to an electronic court database, 48 civil lawsuits were filed in federal court against the auto manufacturer on Monday and Tuesday alone.

USA Today reports that one Seattle-based law firm is already representing clients in 20 states, and expects to “have all 50 states represented by the end of the week.”

Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.