Cheating in the Car Industry: A Government Crackdown is Underway
Car manufacturers are not always honest. There has been ample evidence in recent years of car makers hiding vehicle defects from regulators and the public, thus putting lives at risk. There have also been a record number of recalls in the past few years, often as news of the hidden problems finally came to light. Sometimes, these recalls didn't come until after people had been killed and cars had been on the road for decades.
Not only are many car makers lying about problems with their cars, but some are intentionally deceiving government regulators about whether their vehicles are in compliance with environmental regulations. Volkswagen's rigged cars, which gave artificially low emissions readings, are the best examples of this kind of intentional deception -- but there are others.
Auto Remarketing published a report recently detailing the rise in dishonest, unscrupulous and even fraudulent behavior on the part of car manufacturers and their employees. The report not only shows that cheating in the auto industry is getting worse, but it also indicates that the government is finally starting to crack down.
The increased government attention to auto industry cheating is great news, although there are still too few options for consumers who have been scammed by car dealers or who have gotten stuck with dangerous vehicles from car makers. A Los Angeles Lemon Law attorney can provide insight into what the options actually are under consumer protection laws, and can offer assistance in pursuing remedies for losses under any applicable regulations.
Government is Cracking Down on Dishonest Car Makers
Auto Remarketing listed numerous examples in recent months in which the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal and state law enforcement agencies pursued cases against car manufacturers for dishonesty.
In some cases, the DOJ is targeting not just car makers, but also individual employees who facilitate fraud. For example, the Volkswagen engineer who implemented software in VW vehicles that was designed to cheat emissions tests has pled guilty to his role in a 10-year conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.
As a part of his plea, he agreed to cooperate with the government in continuing investigations. Since he did not work alone, many are predicting additional indictments will come, and perhaps those indictments will involve people high up in the executive branch.
While the government crackdown could be an important step towards stopping fraud on the part of car makers, the fact is that the automotive industry is likely to be slow to improve, if it evolves or changes at all. Sadly, consumers will continue to be the victims of a car industry not fully equipped to protect them.
A Lemon Law lawyer can help those who have been harmed find out whether any legal protections exist and can offer assistance in trying to make consumer protection laws work to secure a remedy for damages.