Economy, Auto

VW Emissions Fallout: Month 2

VW Emissions Fallout: Month 2VW Emissions Fallout: Month 2

Texas joined the Volkswagen litigation bandwagon, accusing the company’s US unit of violating state consumer protection laws and clean air standards by using rigged software in some of its diesel vehicles.

The state’s claims, in two lawsuits filed Thursday by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in state court in Austin, follow similar actions brought by West Virginia last Friday and a separate case by the county that encompasses Houston, Bloomberg West reports.

The lawsuits are part of the widening fallout from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Sept. 18 announcement that Volkswagen installed deceptive software to make vehicles appear as if they met emissions standards. Investigations are being conducted by prosecutors and other agencies in the US. Authorities raided Volkswagen facilities and some employees’ homes in Wolfsburg, Germany, on Thursday.

The attorneys general of 45 states and the District of Columbia are conducting a joint investigation into allegations of violations of consumer-protection and environmental laws.

The number of lawsuits filed by VW and Audi car owners is increasing daily.

More than 250 lawsuits have been filed as consumer class actions in US federal courts in at least 38 states, claiming fraud.

  Australia Fallout

In Australia, the Volkswagen Group says it will conduct a voluntary recall of vehicles fitted with devices designed to cheat emissions tests, as it increased the estimated number of affected cars to nearly 100,000.

VW Australia on Friday said its head office in Germany had identified another 6,444 cars, two days after it put the total figure at 90,000, according to Reuters.

The Australian Volkswagen unit said it would write to all affected car owners about the recall. It has also set up a website for customers to see if their vehicles, including more than 60,000 Volkswagen branded passenger cars, 5,000 Skodas and more than 17,000 Volkswagen commercial vehicles, have the affected EA 189 diesel engines. VW plans to start recalling up to 11 million vehicles globally in January following revelations they were fitted with illegal software.

  European Backlash Tepid

The scandal has not hit the price of used VW diesel cars in Europe, a car valuation firm said, while warning that this could change later in the year, Reuters reports.

EurotaxGlass's surveyed used-car prices in 30 European countries and found that Volkswagen was not trailing the market significantly in any one of the markets.

"There is no evidence that used car prices are coming under pressure for the Volkswagen brand or for the Volkswagen group models," Christof Engelskirchen, the Swiss-based company's managing director, said.