Car values plummeted for at least seven area people because Volkswagen knowingly installed "defeat devices" to get around environmental standards, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by a Chattanooga law firm.
The suit requests an unspecified amount of damages from Volkswagen of America, claiming the seven drivers had no idea the corporation was shortchanging their property by rendering it illegal.
"If the plaintiffs and class members had known the true facts about the affected models," wrote the Patrick, Beard, Schulman and Jacoway law firm, "they would not have purchased their vehicles."
This lawsuit here follows on the heels of the emissions scandal, which made international news earlier this week when the Environmental Protection Agency accused the company of installing "defeat devices" to get around regulations in the United States. The suit alleges Volkswagen sold several models in America since 2009 advertising clean diesel engines.
"These models were marketed as 'clean,'" the suit reads, "when in fact they were not."
Because of this advertising, the seven vehicles boasted a fuel mileage that "would not be possible if the emissions control devices were fully operative," according to the lawsuit.
The seven people, most of whom are from Tennessee and Georgia, purchased their vehicles between 2009 and 2013, expecting clean, high-performing machines, the suit states. Although the cars can be modified to meet regulations, Volkswagen of America will be unable to match "the same horsepower and efficiency," it states.
"The result will be a diminution in the value of the affected models and an increase," the lawsuit says, "in fuel costs for operation of these vehicles."
This is not the only lawsuit going after the corporation, which has a significant presence in Chattanooga.
Records show a Huntsville, Ala., man and an area woman who purchased a vehicle from a Volkswagen dealership in North Little Rock, Ark., both filed lawsuits Wednesday in federal court in Hamilton County.
Contact Zack Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6347. Follow @zackpeterson918.
Read more about Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal
Volkswagen Group of America head to testify before Congress
Volkswagen brand sales trail auto market
VW sales in U.S. rise slightly despite scandal
U.S. states issue subpoena in Volkswagen investigation
VW: Nothing has changed inside Volkswagen's only U.S. assembly plant
Cooper: VW should take a page from Tylenol
VW cuts shift at German plant, freezes some hiring
VW expansion, production on track in Chattanooga despite diesel scandal, state officials say
Volkswagen appoints new chief of North American operations
VW to refit diesel vehicles
Gov. Haslam worried about VW scandal's effect on sales, jobs at Chattanooga plant
Volkswagen faces major legal trouble in emissions scandal
VW faces daunting challenges in fixing emissions cheating
VW was reportedly warned about illegal emissions tricks year ago
German prosecutors open investigation into ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn
Volkswagen to reorganize North American operations
Tennessee judge sues VW in emissions scandal
Tennessee part of multi-state investigation into Volkswagen
EPA changing emissions tests after being duped by VW for seven years
Volkswagen sued by Chattanooga area residents
Reports: Volkswagen to pick Porsche's Matthias Muller as new CEO
Ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn may get $60 million severance package
More resignations expected at Volkswagen
VW workers 'trying to make light of situation, but we just don't know'
VW faces growing number of class action lawsuits
Why most VW drivers may not let their cars be recalled
Volkswagen CEO steps down, takes responsibility for scandal
German official cautions against talking down VW
Biggest VW dealer says 'Volkswagen brand is at risk'
Six big questions about Volkswagen's emissions crisis
Tarnished: State Senate, U.S. House panels plan hearings on VW's diesel deception
VW officials assure Berke that Chattanooga SUV is 'critical' to their market strategy
Emissions testers approving VW vehicles that pass inspection until directed to do otherwise
Lawmakers move quickly to grill VW over diesel deception
Volkswagen CEO says he is 'endlessly sorry' for emissions deception as VW issues profit warning
Will pollution scandal ruin Volkswagen in the United States?
Volkswagen says 11 million vehicles worldwide affected by pollution scandal
Volkswagen's reputation erodes as diesel emissions scandal widens
Sohn: What was Volkswagen thinking?
Cooper: VW brand on the line
VW unveils new Passat design for 2016
VW rocked by emissions scandal as prosecutors come calling
For 7 years, VW software thwarted pollution regulations
VW scandal has TN officials fuming after giving millions in incentives
Volkswagen tells dealers to stop selling 2015 diesel cars
Sohn: VW's alleged emissions 'defeat device' disheartening
VW could be fined $18 billion for cheating on emission rules
VW stock crashes after admitting it rigged U.S. emission tests
EPA: VW intentionally violates clean air standards