Stanford professors sue Volkswagen for cheating emissions tests

September 29, 2015
The Stanford Daily

Two Stanford professors filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen following the company’s admission of its use of deceptive software to cheat emissions tests.

An Environmental Protection Agency investigation found that the software, which was built into the diesel car engines, turned on emissions control systems only when emissions testing was occurring in the area. Due to the large amount of time during which the systems remain off, the cars may be releasing up to 40 times more emissions than is allowed by the Clean Air Act.

Bernadette Meyler J.D. ’03, a Stanford law professor, and her husband Matthew Smith, an associate professor of German studies and in the theater and performance studies department, consequently filed a class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen. The couple owns a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI.

As of Sept. 27, 34 lawsuits had been filed against the automotive giant.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Frank Pitre, a representative from the Burlingame law firm handling the couple’s case – Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy – said that Meyler and Smith specifically do not wish to sell their Passat. Instead, the couple hopes that the company will buy the car off of them.

“Morally, they’re passing along the same polluting vehicle to someone else, and the environment will still be hurt in an alarming rate [if they were to sell it],” Pitre said.

Volkswagen’s Electronic Research Lab in Belmont may be the source of the devices, which have been used in over 11 million Golf, Passat, Audi A3, Jetta and Beetle models since 2009. Five hundred thousand cars in the United States alone have now been recalled... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)