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Scandal Overview

European vehicles affected
$0 B+
Paid in US
Cars impacted in the Netherlands
Paid in the Netherlands


The DEJF has filed a writ alleging that Volkswagen AG intentionally and systemically manipulated at least 8.5 million European vehicles. The manipulated vehicles include those manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche. Specifically, we allege VW had installed what is known as test cycle recognition software or “defeat device software” in over 11 million cars worldwide with engine type EA 189 from 2009 through 2015. It has also recently come to light that many cars with later production dates have been affected as well, including Porsche, Audi and VWs equipped with an EA 897 diesel engine and many vehicles thought to have been corrected with the EA 288 engine.

The effect of this defeat device software was to reduce the NOx emissions during emissions testing while the vehicles would produce much higher levels of NOx than permitted by law when driven on the road. The purpose of this unethical behaviour was to mislead the authorities and portray its cars as cleaner and more efficient than they actually were.

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets determined in its decisions of 28 November 2017 and 4 December 2018 regarding cars with EA 189 engines that this manipulation was intentional, systemic and that Volkswagen AG had engaged in unfair commercial practices. In other continents, Volkswagen reached substantial settlements. In Europe and, particularly, the Netherlands, Volkswagen remained silent and even continued to place affected vehicles of engine types EA 288 and EA 897 on the market.

Impact on Health and the Environment

NOx is comprised of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. These gases are a significant source of air pollution and contribute to the formation of smog, acid rain, global warming and cause damage to the Earth’s ozone layer similar to chlorofluorocarbons. NOx is a known irritant to the lungs and causes respiratory problems like asthma, wheezing, coughing, colds, and bronchitis. Children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of NOx. Aggregate traffic pollution, including NOx, is estimated to cost Europeans 60 billion Euros annually in healthcare costs and is responsible for 500,000 premature deaths each year.

Volkswagen has falsely promoted, and still is falsely promoting, a “clean diesel” image world-wide and as a result, has commanded a premium for their vehicles. With its unethical conduct, VW has engaged in consumer fraud and should be held accountable both to their customers and to the environment.
There is a high likelihood your vehicle has been affected if it is
- a 1.2, 1.6 or a 2.0 litre diesel vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche that was manufactured from 2009 through 2015 (engine type EA 198),
- a 3,0 litre diesel vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche that was manufactured at least 2018 (engine type EA 897)
- a 1.6 or a 2.0 litre diesel vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche that was manufactured from 2012 to date (engine type EA 288)

In addition, defeat devices in other engines have been reported and may be included in our proceedings. We are currently investigating this.

Apart from affecting your wallet, this may have had a much larger negative impact on your health and the environment than you ever imagined.
Almost 8.5 million European vehicles have been manipulated by Volkswagen AG (including Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche vehicles) to pass emissions tests. Globally, Volkswagen installed its “defeat device software” in over 11 million cars with engine type EA 189 worldwide from 2009 through 2015. In the Netherlands this concerns at least 170.000 cars. In addition, large numbers of vehicles were sold with engine types EA 897 and EA 288.

Volkswagen’s cheating software in its EA 189 engines impacted 500,000 cars in the United States and Volkswagen agreed to pay over $25 billion USD to owners, dealers, regulators and states. In Europe, where about 17 times as many affected cars have been sold, no meaningful compensation has been offered thus far, and no compensation whatsoever has been offered regarding cars with engine types EA 897 and EA 288.

If you purchased or leased an impacted vehicle – even if you no longer own it- you could receive compensation. Check if you are eligible now. Join the claim today and help hold Volkswagen to account.

Emissions Testing

Before any vehicle may be sold in the European market, it must pass a series of tests and inspections to assure the vehicle is compliant with applicable laws. These measures include, among other things, crash-testing, road worthiness testing and emissions testing.

Since 1992, the maximum amount of permitted pollution causing emissions has steadily decreased by European Union regulations popularly known as the Euro standard. In 2009, the Euro 5 standard was passed to further protect consumers and the environment, and it dramatically reduced the permitted amount of NOx emissions by diesel vehicles. In 2006, the Euro 6 standard was adopted which imposes even stricter NOx norms.

In 2015 it came to light that Volkswagen intentionally cheated the Euro 5 standards by employing the defeat device software in order for their vehicles with EA 189 engines to appear to pass emissions tests. Very recently, it transpired that Volkswagen has also cheated, and is still cheating, the Euro 6 standards with their EA 897 and EA 288 engines.

Current emissions testing in Europe is done in a laboratory setting and not on the road. The defeat device software installed on the affected vehicles was sophisticated enough to determine whether the vehicle was in a test environment or being driven on the road. This was done by assessing various parameters such as movement of the wheels, the steering wheel and the accelerator.

When the defeat device software detected the vehicle was in a test environment, a valve would be manipulated to recirculate gas through the engine and thereby reduce the NOx emissions to within permitted standards. Volkswagen themselves admitted that the level of NOx emissions in these different modes was “noticeable.” In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency determined that NOx emissions were as much as 10 to 40 times higher when the vehicle was not in test mode. Other cheat devices were used as well in various car models.

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