Since 2009, German manufacturer Volkswagen has been able to sell almost 500,000 of its diesel cars in the United States, one country where more than 90% of all vehicles on roads and highways run on gasoline.
Diesel is more popular in Europe because it provides more power, gives greater mileage than gasoline (30% more efficient than gasoline), and runs through a diesel engine, which offers more torque than a gasoline engine. However, a Volkswagen emissions fraud attorney will have probably learned by now that the main reason why diesel is so much welcome in Europe is because of its lower emission standards.
Despite the number of advantages provided by diesel, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not like it because it is dirty; on the part of motorists, besides being dirty, diesel is also noisy and slow. While it is true that gasoline produces carbon dioxide (CO2), a global-warming gas, diesel is said to be dirtier because of what it actually emits: (i) particulate matter, which contains the soot and metal that gives smog its murky color; (ii) nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is a factor in the formation of ground level ozone, the main component of smog.
By equipping its diesel cars with a computer software device which allows its cars to detect signs that it is being tested, this device automatically alters a car’s performance, switching it to safety mode so that the amount of NOx emitted is greatly reduced until tests are over. On the road, everything switches back to normal and cars also go back to emitting pollutants that are 40 times higher than the limit set by the US Clean Air Act.
There is no doubt that Volkswagen intentionally cheated its way into the US market to be able to sell it cars which, it claimed, run on clean diesel. Due to this fraud it now faces fines that can amount to many billions of dollars, besides the recall of close to half a million of its vehicles in the US alone.
People who purchased a Volkswagen diesel car during the recent years may be legally allowed to file a lawsuit and claim compensation from the German manufacturer.More →
Air bag defects are causing car manufacturers a lot of headaches recently. A recall of more than 3 million cars worldwide was due to suspected air bag defects causing improper inflation. The air bags were supplied by Takata Corportation to Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota. Chrysler is also recalling its 2013 Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Ram Cargo Van models because of a spotty software may cause the side air bags to inflate on the wrong side of the vehicle i.e. not the side where the crash occurred.
Air bags are supposed to increase the safety of a vehicle’s passengers in the event of a crash or accident, and in most instances it does. But when a product has a design flaw or manufacturing defect, it can end up causing serious injury instead of preventing it. The problem with air bag defects is that it often only becomes apparent when something bad happens and subsequent investigations reveal the culprit. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, in some cases, it may not even be possible to identify the proximate cause of injury because the vehicle was too damaged for forensic investigation.
While air bags are a great idea, advances in technology are making the permutations for air bag defects higher. As the system becomes more interactive and complex, the number of moving parts and steps in assembly increases the chances of a glitch happening, and makes it more difficult to catch a mistake. On the other hand, millions of lives have been saved by properly functioning air bag systems. It’s a catch 22 all around, and all you can do is hope that the batch of air bags you in your car is a good one.
Making a manufacturer pay for any product defect that may cause injury to consumer is not only your right but a responsibility. Once confronted with glitches in their products, many manufacturers try to fix them as soon as they can in order to minimize lawsuits and keep more of their money. Consult with a product liability lawyer and find out your legal options to set things right.More →