VW lawsuits headed for California

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hundreds of Volkswagen Suits Will Be Heard in California.

New Orleans • A judicial panel on Tuesday decided to consolidate hundreds of lawsuits against Volkswagen over its emissions cheating scandal in California, a focal point of the carmaker’s troubles. New York (dpa) – A US court panel ordered more than 500 individual and class-action consumer lawsuits over Volkswagen‘s emissions cheating to be tried centrally in a San Francisco district court. The company admitted in September that most of its diesel cars sold in the United States were equipped with the software that changed the engine settings when it detected a testing station.

The lawsuits are being centralized as part of a process called multidistrict litigation, which consolidates suits from across the country to help avoid repetition and make the process more efficient. It noted that relevant documents and witnesses might be found in California, given the role played by the state’s Air Resources Board in uncovering Volkswagen’s actions. Instead, the panel said it makes more sense to turn California into the center of the legal wrangling, in part because there are so many VW owners and dealers there. The court cited the filing of nearly one fifth of the lawsuits in California, and the role of California‘s state environmental regulatory agency in exposing the emissions scandal. VW has admitted that 482,000 2-liter diesel vehicles in the U.S. contained software that turned pollution controls on during government tests and off during real-world driving.

A several-judge panel that oversees the multidistrict litigation process issued Tuesday’s order less than a week after hearing arguments in New Orleans on where the cases should be sent. The judicial panel’s job is to determine whether lawsuits in different federal districts should be amassed under one court to prevent duplication and inconsistent rulings and to make it easier for lawyers.

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