Days after Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal became public, Texas woman files federal class action lawsuit alleging breach of contract, fraud, and unjust enrichment.
Holly Harris, who purchased a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta diesel in 2014, filed a federal class action lawsuit seeking certification of a nationwide class and a Texas subclass. She seeks temporary and permanent court orders to enjoin Volkswagen Group of America from “continuing the unlawful, deceptive, fraudulent, unfair business practices;” injunctive relief in the form of a recall or free replacement program; and costs, restitution, actual and punitive damages, disgorgement and interest. In addition to the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act cause of action on behalf of the class, Harris brings breach of contract, fraud by concealment and unjust enrichment causes of action against Volkswagen on behalf of the Texas subclass. Harris alleges the class includes hundreds of thousands of current or former owners or lessees of Volkswagen vehicles including 2009-2015 VW Jettas, 2009-2015 VW Beetles, 2009-2015 VW Golfs, 2013-2015 VW Passats and 2009-2015 Audi A3s. Andreas Lampersbach, head of corporate and business communications for Volkswagen, did not immediately respond to an email request for a comment on the allegations in Harris v. Volkswagen Group of America. Plaintiff’s attorney Robert Hilliard, a partner in Hilliard Munoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking a comment. However, in a press release, Hilliard wrote that Volkswagen “deceived” millions of people. “It engaged in a widespread marketing campaign to promote vehicles containing what Volkswagen claimed was ‘Clean Diesel’ technology all the while knowing that it cheated the system,” Hilliard wrote. As alleged in the complaint, the Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 18 issued a notice of violation finding that “defeat devices” in Volkswagen vehicles would “bypass, defeat or render inoperable” parts of the vehicle emission control systems intended to comply with Clean Air Act emission standards. The defeat device, according to the EPA, is a switch that will put the emission system into operation when it is being tested, but deactivates it when not being tested. “Despite knowingly and purposefully installing the ‘defeat device’ in these diesel vehicles, Volkswagen continued to market and sell the vehicles as though they were fully compliant with the applicable EPA laws and regulations,” Harris alleges in the complaint. “Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act, defrauded its customers, and engaged in unfair competition under state and federal laws when it manufactured and sold these vehicles with ‘defeat devices,” she alleges. Harris alleges Volkswagen aggressively marketed its “clean line” of diesel vehicles in the United States, and charged a premium for the vehicles. Originally posted by Brenda Sapino Jeffreys on TexasLawyer.com. Federal Class Action Lawsuit – Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney – Los Angeles