Saturday, October 10, 2015
Why did Martin Winterkorn resign as CEO of Volkswagen?
The scandal that has broken surrounding Volkswagen's rigging of automobiles to "fool" regulatory testing of emissions, has shaken confidence in the company and let down its customers. Volkswagen, the largest car company in the world, stands accused of using illegal means ("defeat device") via software to cheat on emissions tests, facilitating false readings of low emissions only during the tests themselves. This car emissions scandal affects 11 million diesel vehicles globally.
In response to the scandal, CEO Martin Winterkorn has resigned, requesting termination of his position as CEO of the Volkswagen Group from the Supervisory Board of the company. While Winterkorn has declared that he takes responsibility for the "irregularities" in the diesel engines, he states that he is "stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible" and "unaware of any wrong doing" on his part.
Winterkorn, who is 68 years old and has been CEO of the company since 2007, had recently had his CEO contract extended until 2018. The company's former chairman, Ferdinand Piech, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, the inventor of the Volkswagen Beetle, attempted to expel Winterkorn from his CEO position early in 2015, but Piech himself was forced to resign in April.
The executive board of Volkswagen has announced that it will present recommendations for Winterkorn's successor at its upcoming meeting of its supervisory board.
The Executive Committee is so far expressing complete support of Dr. Winterkorn, stating that they have "great respect" for his offer of resignation. They stand by his declaration that he "had no knowledge of the manipulation of emissions data" and express "respect for his willingness to nevertheless assume responsibility."
if you believe that your automobile is a lemon, don't hesitate to contact a reputable lemon law attorney today for a consultation.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
What is the status of ongoing litigation against car manufacturers in the U.S.?
Carbon monoxide carries the dual-risk of being not only one of the most fatal gases to humans, but also one of the most undetectable. Accordingly, several New Jersey plaintiffs have launched a putative class action lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company following the detection of the gas within the vehicle while driving – an allegation the company has vehemently denied publicly, yet allegedly admitted to in private depositions.
The New Jersey class action
was filed in state court in May, 2015, and was removed to the federal court system on July 2, 2015. According to the complaint, the lawsuit involves 2011-2015 Ford Explorers, Edge and MKX models from 2011-2013 with 3.5L and 3.7L TIVCT engines.
Factual allegations against Ford
In a class action, there are generally a handful of plaintiffs chosen as “class representatives” – primarily because their allegations are virtually identical to those of the class as a whole. In this case, two representatives have been elected to spearhead the lawsuit following their noxious experience with at 2014 Ford Explorer. According to the complaint, Stephen Schondel and Linda King-Schondel of Middletown, New Jersey reported to the dealership on several occasions that the inside of the vehicle smelled of exhaust while driving. The dealership not only failed to repair the problem, but did not alert the couple of two prior safety warnings issued by Ford with regard to the possible carbon monoxide problem in select makes and models.
This is not the first carbon monoxide class action faced by Ford, and several other lawsuits are pending in Florida and elsewhere. According to the details of those proceedings, Ford asserts that such a relatively small number of drivers have experienced the problem, that it did not consider it a pressing safety issue. The company also allegedly admitted in a statement to the Better Business Bureau that it was unable to find a remedy for the problem.
These cases predominantly implicate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Warrant Act, also known as the lemon law.
If you are having problems with a new vehicle and are unable to obtain help from the dealership, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney.
Monday, July 13, 2015
What are my options if a brand new vehicle is emitting an odd odor from the air vents?
At Timothy Abeel and Associates, we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients – no matter how many times the manufacturer insists nothing is wrong. As experienced practitioners of Lemon Law cases, we have fine-tuned our practice to offer the area’s leading representation against manufacturers that refuse to correct defects in their automobiles, as was the case in one of our recent victories against Toyota Motor Sales. If you are experiencing a situation to that described below, be sure to contact our office right away for help in recovering the costs of repairing your vehicle.
Attorney Abeel demands compensation from obstinate manufacturer
Prior to our recent victory versus Toyota, the plaintiff in the case was experiencing a noxious and sickening odor emitting from the air vents of her new car. According to the allegations, the odor was so overwhelming that it caused headaches and nausea for all passengers – including several young children.
In an effort to correct the problem, the plaintiff returned to the Toyota dealership not once, not twice, but on seven separate occasions – all to no avail. Instead of repairing the problem, the dealership insisted the odor was merely a “new car smell” that would eventually dissipate. It didn’t. And neither did the plaintiff’s complaint – which brought her to our office seeking results.
As a client with a difficult motor vehicle situation, we had two options to help her recover the costs of repairing the problem: the Pennsylvania Lemon Law and the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices Act. While both statutes offer plaintiffs the opportunity for compensation, our client’s unique situation required us to use the Unfair Trade Practices Act since the vehicle, while purchased in Pennsylvania, was ultimately registered in Florida. Fortunately, this fact worked in our favor, and the UPTA allowed the judge to award not only the value of lease payments already made, but the entire remaining balance of the lease. In essence, the court found that Toyota had acted recklessly in refusing to repair the plaintiff’s vehicle, and awarded both compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees.
If you need help with a difficult situation involving a new vehicle, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
If you purchase a vehicle and it is defective in some way you may be entitled to a repurchase (full refund) or replacement under the lemon law. But, half the battle in obtaining this relief is dealing with the manufacturer. These parties know what they can and cannot get away with when it comes to individuals attempting to enforce their lemon law rights. Sometimes, it is amazing what a difference being represented by an experienced attorney can make.
A great example of success after retaining counsel in a lemon law claim is the case of a one of our clients who had serious problems with a vehicle that had recently been purchased. The client went through the required process without representation and ended up submitting to informal arbitration with the manufacturer. The arbitrator decided against the client. After seriously considering just dealing with the defect, the client finally decided to contact and attorney and retained Timothy Abeel & Associates as counsel. We were able to get the vehicle repurchased for a full refund.
Sometimes, hiring an attorney can even help when the individual does not have any lemon law rights. One of our clients had a seven (7) year old vehicle with a dangerous power loss defect. Even though the client was outside the lemon law claim period, our attorneys were able to get the vehicle repurchased for a full refund.
Lemon law cases are complicated and it is therefore important that you retain a skilled attorney as opposed to attempting to handle the matter on your own. While these results are not typical and no outcome is guaranteed, hiring an attorney works in your favor more often than not.
if you believe that your automobile is a lemon, don't hesitate to contact a reputable lemon law attorney for a consultation.
Lemon Law News
Timothy J. Abeel & Associates, P.C. represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, cities include but are not limited to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, Newark, and Trenton.