Volkswagen Dieselgate update: dealers ask for reparations, fix deadline passes

March 25, 2016

In this week's Volkswagen Dieselgate update, the automaker misses an important deadline, dealers demand compensation to see them through the scandal, and Kentucky files a lawsuit.

Fix deadline passes: Last month, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave Volkswagen until March 24 to find a fix for roughly 482,000 smaller Audi and VW "clean diesel" vehicles that came equipped with software that allows them to cheat on emissions tests. Volkswagen missed that milestone yesterday, but Judge Breyer didn't seem too peeved. He noted that the automaker had made significant progress and extended the deadline to April 21.

Dealers demand dollars: Last week, we told you about a group of VW dealers who've become very upset with the folks in charge of Volkswagen's massive, mass-market brand. While VW sales have tumbled--due in part to the ongoing U.S. moratorium on new diesel vehicles from any Volkswagen line--dealers say that executives in Germany have been slow to discuss important things like sales goals and Volkswagen's future commitment to the U.S. market.  

During meetings with VW last week in Germany, some U.S. dealers asked the automaker to consider making reparations. The amount of their proposal wasn't disclosed, but details could be revealed during the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting, which kicks off next weekend in Las Vegas. 

Kentucky files suit: There's been a lot of talk at the federal and state levels about suing Volkswagen. To date, four states--New Jersey, New Mexico, New Jersey, Texas, and West Virginia--have done so, and now we can add Kentucky to the list. Attorney General Andy Beshear filed the suit, which alleges that Volkswagen violated Kentucky's consumer protection laws in selling diesels that failed to live up to low-emissions claims. Details about the suit haven't been made public, however, it could cost Volkswagen millions of dollars in penalties and even more in reparations to the 3,800 Kentucky owners of Volkswagen's tainted diesels. 

Note: For purposes of clarity, "Volkswagen" has been used to refer to the Volkswagen Group parent company, while "VW" has been used to refer to the company's popular mass-market brand of automobiles.

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