Volkswagen Group of America, Audi of America and their respective German parent companies (Volkswagen AG and Audi AG) are facing a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The consumer plaintiffs accuse the companies of having allegedly “defrauded and endangered them and others by selling vehicles labeled as certified pre-owned (CPO) that were actually pre-production models that did not comply with U.S. motor vehicle regulations and should never have been placed on American roads,” according to a news release from The Law Offices of Michael J. Melkersen, P.C.
Michael Melkersen filed the suit on behalf of representative plaintiffs in New Jersey, Colorado and Washington state. Motley Rice LCC is providing additional class representation.
“Not only has Volkswagen knowingly sold cars in violation of applicable safety standards, Volkswagen tried to hide its misconduct by committing Federal Odometer Fraud by lying to consumers about when and how the mileage on these cars occurred,” Melkersen said in a news release. “By providing a secret data feed to Carfax that manipulated how and when the mileage would appear in the Carfax vehicle history reports, Volkswagen and Audi were able to use Carfax to perpetrate this mileage-fraud scheme.”
A copy of the filing can be found here.
The suit claims the defendants aimed to “yet again defraud its consumers by illegally titling, marketing and selling so-called ‘certified pre-owned’ (‘CPO’) vehicles to unsuspecting customers who would have never otherwise purchased these cars or who would have paid less for such vehicles had the truth been known.
“Specifically, Volkswagen misrepresented the certification, prior use and mileage of these vehicles to induce the fraudulent sale of these CPO cars in three interrelated ways,” the suit said.
It alleges that the defendants “sold certain Audi-branded and Volkswagen-branded CPO-designated vehicles commonly known as pre-series, zero series or pre-production cars (“Pre-Production Cars”) by falsely representing to consumers that such vehicles conformed to all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (‘Federal Safety Standards’), when in fact, Volkswagen knew that these Pre-Production Cars violated Federal Safety Standards and could not be legally sold in the United States.”