Drivers of Volkswagen vehicles were recently given disturbing news. The car company that had become known for fuel efficiency and safety revealed that it had cheated on efficiency tests. As a result, the company faces public backlash and fines for its actions.

The defective condition associated with Volkswagen vehicles stems from its claims of clean diesel and the company admitting to manipulating tests administered by government agencies in order to buttress those claims. These tests are designed to accurately determine the emission quality of vehicles manufactured and sold in the United States. These fraudulent emission reports affect about 11 million diesel cars that have been sold in the United States and throughout the world. The company cheated the system by utilizing software that gave false readings on emission tests.

The size and scope of this scandal leads some to wonder, where was in-house counsel at the time of the corporate maleficence? As the investigation continues, investigators will continue to work to determine who knew what and when. In the meantime, consumers are left driving cars that are less efficient and less environmentally friendly than previously believed. A recall has not yet been issued.

This case serves to illustrate how companies can put profits ahead of consumers. Far too often this leads to safety issues that could leave consumers seriously injured. Any consumer who has been injured by a defective product may seek legal action to recover compensation for mental and physical injuries that were caused. A personal injury attorney who is well versed in product liability may be able to aid consumers with their claim.

Source: The ABA Journal, “Volkswagen: Where were your lawyers?” Paul Lippe, Oct. 13, 2015