Morgan & Morgan Files Volkswagen Emissions Lawsuit

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Plaintiff Unable to Trade Polluting Jetta and is Told by VW She Must Continue to Make Payments on Potentially Valueless Vehicle

Morgan & Morgan, P.A., has filed a lawsuit* on behalf of a Florida woman who purchased a Volkswagen (VW) Jetta equipped with an emissions-cheating device that she claims was marketed to her under false pretenses and, according to VW’s statement to the plaintiff, is currently incapable of being valued—and indeed is perhaps valueless.

Volkswagen has admitted to equipping 11 million vehicles worldwide with software that allowed it to cheat on emissions testing. On the site, Volkswagen vows to provide a remedy that brings affected cars into emissions compliance, but the website offers no details about a specific fix. Volkswagen also promises on its website to offer a forthcoming solution for VW owners who wish to turn in their vehicle. No recall has been announced, but Volkswagen has issued a “stop sale” on 4-cylinder TDI models.    

As described in Morgan & Morgan court filings against Volkswagen, plaintiff Deborah DeRochemont purchased a 2013 VW Jetta TDI from a Volkswagen dealership in Brandon, Florida for a price of roughly $32,000, with financing provided by Volkswagen Credit. Plaintiff cites the Jetta TDI’s advertised and expressed fuel efficiency and performance as primary reasons for her purchase and says her reservations about “dirty” diesel emissions were assuaged by a VW salesman’s explanation of VW’s “clean diesel” technology.

According to Morgan & Morgan’s court filing on behalf of DeRochemont, plaintiff claims that when she learned of the VW emissions cheating scandal, she decided to trade-in her Jetta TDI for a gasoline VW Passat. As Morgan’s case filing shows, Volkswagen marketing materials claimed that TDI Clean Diesel models typically have a higher resale value than comparable gasoline vehicles. The VW dealer, however, told plaintiff that a companywide “freeze” had been placed on VW clean diesels, and that VW could not so much as provide an estimate of her vehicle’s current value. Yet Volkswagen Credit informed plaintiff that, although no value could presently be established for her Jetta, she was required to continue making payments on it —which she has done.

Plaintiff contends that, had she known prior to purchasing her Jetta TDI that it was equipped with a device that allowed it to violate federal clean air standards for nitrogen oxides, she would not have purchased the vehicle, or would not have paid the amount she did for it. The lawsuit accuses Volkswagen of violations under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, fraud, breach of warranty, and negligent misrepresentation and seeks damages for monies wrongfully obtained by VW, plus interest, in addition to other damages.

To learn more about the VW emissions scandal and legal options for affected customers, please visit Morgan & Morgan’s class action lawsuit page.

  • Deborah M. DeRochemont, Plaintiff, v. VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA, INC. D/B/A VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC., VOLKSWAGEN AG, and DIRECT B, LLC D/B/A BRANDON VOLKSWAGEN, case # 3352278, in the Circuit Court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Hillsborough County, Florida Civil Division

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Michael N. Hanna, Esq.
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Morgan & Morgan P.A.
since: 03/2010
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