On Thursday, German automaker Volkswagen announced that it had hired renowned victim compensation lawyer Kenneth Feinberg to handle all claims and lawsuits resulting from the company's now infamous emissions cheating scandal.
The announcement came shortly after several well-known environmental activists began petitioning the California Air Resources Board to enforce a strict deadline by which Volkswagen must begin offering environmentally-friendly vehicles.
If the company fails to adhere to the deadline, activists feel it should face additional fines and penalties as punishment for cheating on emissions tests.
Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, stated that Feinberg's extensive experience with complex and large-scale legal matters was a determining factor in the company's decision to retain him as its legal counsel.
Feinberg's notoriety stems from his work as a victim compensation lawyer for those affected by the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as for families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
More recently, Feinberg handled thousands of victims lawsuits filed against General Motors, after the auto manufacturer was bombarded with claims regarding faulty ignition switches in its vehicles.
As per his legal arrangements with Volkswagen, Feinberg will be in charge of creating and implementing the auto makers new Independent Claims Resolution Program, which is designed to offer the best possible restitution for owners of VW vehicles, Audis, and Porsches that were adversely affected by the emissions scandal.
In a meeting with several reporters, Feinberg stated that he is not yet sure how long Volkswagen's Independent Claims Resolution Program will be available, and he is unsure of what settlement options will be included in the program.
Feinberg expressed concerns over rushing to provide a solution for VW vehicle owners, as Volkswagen is focused on ensuring each individual car owner is dutifully compensated for its dishonest manufacturing practices.
Currently, Feinberg is consulting with Volkswagen customers, their lawyers, and other experts to craft a compensation plan that is best suited for all owners of VW vehicles equipped with emissions cheating software. About 500,000 claims are expected to be in need of resolution.
If you are a Volkswagen driver who owns a vehicle affected by emissions cheating software, you may be eligible to file a Volkswagen emissions lawsuit. Contact the defective product attorneys at Arnold Law Firm today to discuss your case. We have decades of legal experience and are dedicated to fighting for consumers' rights.
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