Just when you thought the situation couldn’t get much worse for VW, the U.S. government steps in and says they’re going to sue VW for something else.
The core of dieselgate was obviously VW lying about how clean their diesel engines were. While that lie was pretty widespread and a fantastically poor decision, VW still had to sell these cars. And how does one sell something? With advertising. VW put out many ads about its TDI Clean Diesel like the one below.
Because these ads helped sell dirty cars, the U.S. government is piling it on and suing VW for false advertising. According to Carscoops, the Federal Trade Commission is filing the suit based on the fact that VW willingly advertised engines as clean, when they were in fact, not.
[The] FTC accuses Volkswagen of deceiving customers with their ‘Clean Diesel’ advertising campaign into buying more than 550,000 diesel vehicles based on false claims of them being environmentally friendly when they were equipped with hidden defeat devices to pass emissions tests.
The Federal Trade Commission said in their statement that they are seeking “a court order requiring Volkswagen to compensate American consumers who bought or leased an affected vehicle between late 2008 and late 2015, as well as an injunction to prevent Volkswagen from engaging in this type of conduct again.”
Whatever way you slice this story, VW’s name in the U.S. has been smeared for a good amount of the population. VW has never been a massive force like Toyota, Honda, or GM in the U.S. market, but this is not a small market. This will hurt VW in the long run.