Last week we told you about the legal fallout sure to come as a result of Volkswagen's diesel scandal and emission cheating software. That class-action lawsuit is sure to grow even more than anticipated as the scandal has now reached Porsche and Audi, VW's other famous brands.
Executives from VW, Porsche and Audi are announcing their resignations in droves which raises the possibility that the cheating scandal runs much deeper than once thought. Furthermore, the executive departures point to the fact that other automakers may also be selling cars that produce illegal levels of tailpipe emissions.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have all received inquiries from Britain's Transportation and Environment organization. This news has crossed the Atlantic and American lawmakers are beginning to look into other carmakers also.
VW had been found to be cheating on emissions tests since 2008 by creating a software that was able to identify when an emissions test was being performed and then went into a preset "test mode" that limited the cars emissions to within legal limits. In reality, VW cars have been found to emit between 10 and 40 times the legal amount when on the road in normal conditions.
For owners of a VW, here's what you need to know. Firstly, if your car doesn't have a diesel engine, you are just fine.
If you have bought a diesel engine VW since 2008, particularly the VW Beetle Golf, Jetta and Passat, there is a possibility your car is affected by the cheating software.
VW is expected to issue vehicle recalls to correct the problem, but regulators and legal analysts are expecting a significant number of class-action lawsuits to be filed against the German carmaker.
A handful of law firms have filed suits against VW already, but as the carmaker navigates this scandal, the number of cases will surely grow. Many public commenters have already taken to social media in anger at the company's deception.
"It's amazing how many calls we've gotten from owners of these vehicles wanting to know whether they can file suite," said Richard L. Robbins, a member of Robbins Ross Alloy Belinfante Littlefield LLC, the first American law firm to file against VW.
The scandal isn't about to go away soon, and appears like it may mushroom to include a number of other automakers. "At the end of the day this is going to cost them billions of dollars," Robbins added.