After playing a lead role in the record-breaking Volkswagen diesel emissions case in the United States, Hagens Berman has become a trailblazer in emissions fraud litigation, outpacing even federal agencies and authorities in unmasking fraud in emissions reporting. Our firm has developed a system of independent research, including a team of dedicated scientists road-testing vehicles to uncover the next instance of emissions fraud that has blindsided consumers.
When news broke in 2015 of Volkswagen’s massive diesel emissions-cheating scandal, Hagens Berman was the first firm in the United States to file suit against the automaker for its egregious fraud, going on to represent thousands of owners in litigation and take a leading role on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee that would finalize a $14.7 billion, record-breaking settlement for owners. The firm also fought for hundreds of branded franchise dealerships who were blindsided by Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal, left with parking lots full of affected diesels and no answers from VW. Hagens Berman's emissions litigation team secured a $1.67 billion settlement for dealers.
Since this case emerged, Hagens Berman has been on the forefront of this highly specialized realm of law, relying on our legal team’s steadfast and intensive investigative skills to unearth additional emissions-cheating schemes by other automakers, staying one step ahead of government regulators in our pursuit of car manufacturers that have violated emissions standards, regulations and consumer confidence.
In 2020, Hagens Berman obtained a $700 million settlement with Mercedes on behalf of U.S. Mercedes owners of affected diesel vehicles following the firm’s independent investigation. The consumer settlement came in addition to a $1.5 billion joint settlement reached between the U.S. Department of Justice, EPA and California Air Resources Board. Mercedes was forced to conduct a nationwide recall, repair Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles, pay more than $945 million in penalties, perform projects to mitigate pollution and revamp its procedures.
The firm is uniquely dedicated to this cause and has purchased an emission testing machine to determine if other diesel car manufacturers install similar cheating devices, bringing new cases based on the firm’s own research, time and testing. Hagens Berman’s team, has bolstered the firm’s unmatched dedication to upholding the rights of consumers and the environment, becoming a one-man EPA.
Unlike all of our competitors, Hagens Berman has uniquely dedicated its resources to uncovering cheating devices used by other automakers, and our work has led us to uncover emissions-cheating perpetrated by Audi, BMW, General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes, prompting multiple investigations. While other firms play catchup with a reactive approach, Hagens Berman has become a proactive pioneer, testing vehicles, effecting scientific evidence of new fraud and leading the pack against automakers who violate the law.
Our firm is no stranger to this role, and spares no expense to forge new cases where wrongdoing lies.