Volkswagen Group Diesel Efficiency Foundation is a non-profit foundation that, in cooperation with Consumers Union, represents the interests of current and former owners and lessees of Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles with emissions cheating software. Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat marketed these cars as “clean,” but that turned out not to be true.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Sept. 18, 2015, that Volkswagen cheated on the U.S. emissions tests. U.S. regulators revealed that certain Volkswagen diesel cars were designed to meet emissions standards only during official laboratory tests (e.g., to determine whether the cars met emission standards). The Volkswagen cars used special software for this purpose. While driving on the road, the cars emitted excessive and harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx). NOx or nitrogen oxides are harmful to humans, animals and the environment, and NOx emissions were and are strictly regulated.
The deception was not limited to vehicles in the United States. Kraftfahrt-Bundesambt (the “KBA”), the German vehicle type approval authority, announced on Sept. 25, 2015, that Volkswagen AG had also installed this software in Europe (including in the Netherlands) in vehicle models with the EA189 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 liter diesel engines. This manipulation software could tell when the cars were in a test environment (for example, because the steering wheel was turned further than it is in laboratory, or because a certain distance had been covered) to ensure that the car would meet the emission standards only in those test situations. Outside of the test environment, these cars emitted excessive and harmful pollutants.
Ultimately, the Consumer & Market Authority (the “ACM”) concluded that Volkswagen AG was guilty of unfair trade practices for selling and leasing these vehicles to consumers as environmentally friendly and green, when in reality, they were emitting excessive levels of pollutants. The ACM imposed a fine of EUR 450,000 (the maximum fine) on Volkswagen AG for misleading consumers.
Volkswagen was required by Germany’s KBA to provide a software update for all relevant vehicles. The European Court has since ruled that even after that update, the cars were likely still equipped with a prohibited manipulation device.
If you bought or leased a Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda or Seat diesel car manufactured from 2008 onwards (model years 2009 and later), you can join the Foundation. If your car contained manipulation software, the Foundation will stand up for your interests. Sign up by clicking on the link below.