Well well. This is an interesting turn of events. Turns our consumers aren’t the only ones that are pretty pissed off at VW for manipulating diesel emissions. Now, VW dealers are getting in on the slam-VE-bandwagon.
Three VW dealerships from Illinois have now filed lawsuits against their mothership in regards to the diesel emissions scandal. But the way the dealership found out about the diesel scandal and the timing of everything going down seems particularly fishy.
Here’s what we know so far.
Three Volkswagen dealerships from the Illinois-based Napleton Automotive Group sued Volkswagen Wednesday for damages stemming from the Dieselgate scandal, reports Automotive News. This lawsuit is in defiance of a Volkswagen dealer council effort to resolve dealer grievances outside of the courts.
The Napleton Automotive Group has every right to be particularly raw about Dieselgate, given that they acquired an Urbana, Ill., Volkswagen dealership just three days before the EPA first announced Volkswagen’s emissions issues on Sept. 18 last year.
That timing raised more than a few eyebrows at the Napleton Automotive Group. If the EPA was to the point of making a public announcement, the dealers’ attorney Steve Berman explained to Automotive News that the company had to have known of the scandal’s repercussions to Volkswagen dealers at the time of Napleton’s sale, “Steve Berman, the attorney representing Napleton’s stores, called the deal a “sickening display of VW’s disregard for its dealer franchisees,” saying in a statement that VW “withheld the truth and pushed the sale through, knowing well that Ed Napleton was purchasing a dealership that would almost immediately plummet in value.”
This is pretty fascinating especially since VW’s reputation has been extremely tainted with the scandal. If it’s found out that VW knowingly deceived dealers, in really any way imaginable, look for more and more dealers to buck the trend of settling outside of court for a more judge friendly option.
But the real question is will all this even matter? Dieselgate will no doubt harm VW’s reputation, but it’s not like they’re putting exploding catalytic converters on their cars knowingly. GM put in malfunctioning ignitions and is currently in a state where people are suing the pants off of them. GM also seems to be doing amazingly well in sales. Toyota had cars that accelerated without the driver actually pushing the gas pedal. Toyota is the largest car maker in the world. Audi had something random happen to cars back in the 80s. I’m fairly certain it had something to do with people thinking they were getting a car when they got audited by the IRS? Who cares. Point is, will this REALLY hurt VW in the long run? Probably not.