If you thought the fallout from the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal was over, think again.
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently accused the German carmaker and its former chief executive officer of perpetrating a “massive fraud” on investors by lying about VW vehicles’ environmental compliance. The new charges come as Volkswagen is still trying to turn the page on a 2015 Environmental Protection Agency probe that cost the company some $25 billion. The EPA said VW deliberately gave false information about emissions test results for its fleet of diesel vehicles.
In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco, SEC lawyers said company officials knew that the cars were not in compliance with emissions requirements when VW issued $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities over the course of more than a year. They argue that the company should have informed investors of the scandal—and the billions of dollars in fines the company faced as a result—earlier.
Volkswagen “repeatedly lied to and misled United States investors, consumers, and regulators as part of an illegal scheme to sell its purportedly ‘clean diesel’ cars and billions of dollars of corporate bonds and other securities in the United States,” SEC attorneys said in the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Germany are reportedly looking into possible criminal charges against VW officials Herbert Diess and Hans Dieter Poetsch, as well as former CEO Martin Winterkorn for informing investors too late about the scandal. A group of thousands of VW investors are also suing the company for more than $9 million euros.
VW used software to trick emissions testing systems for more than six years. The company developed code for the cars’ onboard computers that would let it know when the vehicle was being tested.
How the California Lemon Law Protects Buyers and Lessors
The VW cheating scandal is just another reminder that carmakers aren’t always up front about the quality of their vehicles. Unfortunately, a slew of vehicles leave the factory floor with significant defects that can be difficult to detect and can raise serious safety hazards.
That’s where the California lemon law comes in. The law generally forces the manufacturer of a defective vehicle to repair the car or take it back. Car makers are required to make certain attempts to fix defects while the vehicle is under warranty. If those efforts aren’t successful, the manufacturer has to either replace the car or reimburse the buyer.
Talk With an Experienced California Lemon Law Lawyer
If you’re a California car owner driving a lemon, you have the right to hold the manufacturer responsible. It’s important to consult an experienced lawyer to understand your rights and weigh your options.
The California Lemon Law attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in lemon law cases across the state. Our lawyers work aggressively to resolve these cases for the people that we represent.
Our offices are conveniently located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.