September 24, 2015
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating whether Volkswagen AG (“Volkswagen” or the “Company”) (VLKAY; VLKPY) violated the federal securities laws.
On Friday, September 18, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) ordered a recall of some 482,000 Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles. The vehicles at issue contained “defeat devices” – “software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test,” thus permitting the vehicles to cheat emissions tests. On the road, the vehicles at issue emit as much as 40 times the level of pollutants allowed under clean air regulations. On Sunday, September 20, 2015, Volkswagen admitted that the allegations were true and that it was actively cooperating with the EPA.
Indeed, Volkswagen admitted to systematically cheating on U.S. air pollution tests for years, leaving the automaker vulnerable to billions in fines and possible criminal prosecution. U.S. authorities could fine the Company $37,500 per vehicle, and with 482,000 vehicles part of the investigation, the total fine could be a staggering $18 billion.
On Wednesday, September 23, 2015, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned.
Volkswagen’s ADRs have plunged about 25% since news of this scandal broke.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP has pursued hundreds of securities, consumer and shareholder rights cases and recovered over $3.5 billion for its clients. The National Law Journal has recognized Bernstein Liebhard for twelve consecutive years as one of the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country.