Volkswagen Sued By The Feds Over Misleading ‘Clean Diesel’ Campaign [w/Video]

The US Federal Trade Commission has filed suit against the US arm of VW for false advertising.

More specifically, FTC accuses Volkswagen of deceiving customers with their ‘Clean Diesel’ advertising campaign into buying more than 550,000 diesel vehicles based on false claims of them being environmentally friendly when they were equipped with hidden defeat devices to pass emissions tests.

“For years Volkswagen’s ads touted the company’s ‘Clean Diesel’ cars even though it now appears Volkswagen rigged the cars with devices designed to defeat emissions tests,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “Our lawsuit seeks compensation for the consumers who bought affected cars based on Volkswagen’s deceptive and unfair practices.”

The Federal Trade Commission said in their statement that they are seeking “a court order requiring Volkswagen to compensate American consumers who bought or leased an affected vehicle between late 2008 and late 2015, as well as an injunction to prevent Volkswagen from engaging in this type of conduct again.”

Prior to this, Volkswagen had received more than 500 civil lawsuits in the wake of the emissions scandal by customers, along with some of the U.S. states and the Justice Department back in January, which is seeking up to $46 billion for violation of environmental and emission laws.

US regulators have given Volkswagen an extended deadline on April 21 to present how they plan to fix the affected diesel vehicles, after failing to comply with the original March 24 deadline.


  • Kash

    So when are they gonna start going after other companies for false advertising? At this point this is just a petty move by the US government.

    • dumblikeyou2

      They didn’t just decide to pick on this all of a sudden; it’s probably been something that was in the waiting. Other companies aren’t necessarily breaking any federal laws when they fluff their claims.

      • Kash

        In America, false advertising is a federal crime and the degree to the lie makes no difference.

        • dumblikeyou2

          False advertising, in the most blatant of contexts, is illegal in most countries. However, advertisers still find ways to deceive consumers in ways that are legal, or technically illegal but unenforceable.

        • dumblikeyou2

          So yes, it does most definitely make a difference.

        • Enter Ranting

          In this case, Volkswagen didn’t bend the truth. They lied outright about their product. That lie led directly to the purchase of 550,000 of these dirty diesels. Ironically, the better the ads performed, the bigger Volkswagen’s problems became. They made their bed. Now they can go screw themselves in it.

    • bxniels0

      Or countries for that matter… weapons *cough* of *cough* mass *cough *distruction /s 🙂

  • Craig

    It’s unfortunate. I was looking forward to having far more ‘diesel’ powered cars available in N.A. [Canada specifically]

  • Vassilis

    Technically they’re not lying. They are clean in terms of CO2 emissions :p

  • DBP

    This is just typical civil litigation antics. All of these agencies, states, and cities are piling on the lawsuits so they can claim a slice of the settlement that is negotiated, the true “victims” (actual owners of the vehicles) if you want to call them that will end up with next to nothing monetarily. Hopefully they will at least get the problem corrected on their cars.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle


  • Obsequious Lickspittle

    Four smelly old dogs wondering about odours eh?