Amid compensating its customers and the authorities over the, now infamous, diesel engine emissions scandal, the VW Group has to deal with another potential threat.
This time, it is its own US dealers who are ready to file a lawsuit due to the damage they have sustained in the aftermath of Dieselgate.
Attorney Leonard Bellavia of Mineola, N.Y., told Autonews “a complaint is already drafted and just waiting on my desk”, so the dealers mean business. Whether it is filed or not, said Bellavia, is a matter of the company offering a fair compensation for their losses – and if it does get filed, it will be a class action on behalf of his clients, whose identities he did not disclose.
The draft includes allegations of breach of contract and fraud over the nearly 580,000 diesel vehicles sold with emissions-cheating software and asking for punitive damages due to a practice that was “fraudulent, intentional and designed to deceive government regulators and the public.”
Although their beef with the German automaker was expressed early on, this is the first open threat and it comes right after a VW dealer council memo noting that some of them “have reached a breaking point and feel that pursuing a legal course is the only option.”
VW execs will hold a meeting with dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in Las Vegas this Saturday.
“My goal is that VW and the dealers can reach a settlement on amicable terms without the added distraction of litigation,” Bellavia said, adding that any action would be taken only after hearing VW’s proposal at the NADA meeting.