Volkswagen Sued by Dealer Group, Non-VW Diesel Producers Breath Sigh of Relief in Europe

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
volkswagen sued by dealer group non vw diesel producers breath sigh of relief in

The Napleton Automotive Group of Illinois tread a well-worn path to its lawyers yesterday, this time filing a suit against Volkswagen for damaging its business model.

Three Volkswagen dealerships owned by Napelton filed the suit, which seeks class-action status, alleging the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal amounts to “criminal racketeering,” Automotive News has reported.

In addition to Napleton, the Seattle law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro is representing thousands of individual Volkswagen buyers who are looking to recoup financial losses. Napleton recently sued Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for allegedly falsifying sales, a charge FCA has called a “ smear” job.

One element of Napleton’s suit involves the ill-timed purchase of an Illinois Volkswagen dealership just three days before the diesel scandal broke. Napleton’s attorney, Steve Berman, called the situation a “sickening display of VW’s disregard for its dealer franchisees,” adding that the automaker would have known the dealership would soon lose value.

Napleton’s lawsuit flies in the face of recent efforts by a committee of dealer owners who’ve attempted to stop angry Volkswagen franchisees from taking their grievances to court. The committee hopes to negotiate a reparations package out of the automaker.

Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess added his own tepid attempt to calm dealer acrimony at last weekend’s National Auto Dealers Association meeting in Las Vegas.

While Volkswagen faces a new legal challenge in the U.S., the German Federal Motor Transport Authority has wrapped up an investigation into European diesel producers, concluding that VW was the only automaker to install an emissions-cheating “defeat device” in its vehicles.

Volkswagen has until April 21 to outline a comprehensive plan to U.S. regulators concerning how it will fix that country’s 580,000 affected diesels.

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2 of 17 comments
  • Ect Ect on Apr 07, 2016

    Steph, not to be pedantic, but the past tense of "tread" is "trod"

  • PeugeotHound PeugeotHound on Apr 09, 2016

    I may not have bought a dealership three days before the announcement but, no kidding, I bought a Touareg TDI three hours before the announcement. Love the vehicle and they sent me $1,000, which I used to help fund the purchase of a 2015 CC R-Line with a manual transmission. In crisis there is opportunity......

  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down.
  • Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
  • Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro today's vehicles?
  • Ravenuer The Long Island Expressway.
  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.