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VW Faces Expensive Lesson with Emission Computer Lies

VW is learning a very expensive lesson thanks to their emission-control issues. Some have even gone so far as to compare the incident to a terrible combination of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and one of the world's worst product-liability incidents.

VW won't just suffer through settlements, either. According to stock performance, it looks like the company will take a hit that exceeds more than $30 billion for this case. That comes somewhat close to the $54 billion BP had to shovel out to settle government accusations and countless private suits.

VW Admits Computers Programmed to Cheat

When VW admitted that millions of diesel automobile computers were actually programmed to cheat on emissions tests, it was slammed with serious criticism. More than that, it likely faces tens of billions of dollars in federal fines alone for an illegal "defeat device."

While there are likely not as many cases of personal injury attached to the VW scandal as there was to the BP environmental disaster, it is still unclear how many private lawyers will bring forward claims against the company. The company, however, cannot fight factual basis for claims, as they have already admitted fault. That means that parties must simply establish a connection between their damages and the intentional and admitted actions of VW.

Will the Case Stay in California?

The case is being handled by the same class-action specialists that took on Toyota for the sudden-acceleration case. Many expect the case to stay in California, as the Golden State's courts are known for being very receptive to consumer class actions.

In fact, California courts are often open to lawsuits based strictly on the idea that consumers should be able to recover the difference between what the actually paid for a product and what they believe they would have paid if they knew about the defects or issues. That means there may be some lawsuits that develop based on these legal grounds.

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