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Make VW Pay
The EPA says Volkswagen designed some 482,000 "clean" diesel cars to get away with violating the law. They built elaborate software — called a "defeat device" — to turn on emission controls during testing and turn them off during regular driving. And when they were caught, they denied it as long as they could.
VW not only admits it broke the law. They ripped off hundreds of thousands of consumers who thought they were buying clean vehicles. And they put our health at risk — emitting as much as 40 times the legal limit of smog-forming pollutants.
We're calling for:
1. Volkswagen to offer to buy back their new diesel car: VW cheated customers in selling them a product that was different than advertised. They should offer to buy the product back.
2. The EPA to demand tough penalties: For VW’s violation, the law calls for penalties up to $37,500 per car — or $18 billion total.
3. Congress to put an end to the auto company’s "get out of jail free" loophole: Auto industry lobbyists have won and defended a loophole in the law that makes it harder to prosecute their executives for intentionally violating the law and putting the public at risk. It’s time to close that loophole.
4. Department of Justice, no tax writeoffs for wrongdoing: We’ve fought against tax writeoffs for JP Morgan, BP and other companies when they were forced to pay penalties for violations of our laws. We’ll keep fighting to end these writeoffs for VW, GM and other companies.
5. The Department of Transportation to enforce strong federal fuel efficiency standards.
CoPIRG Director Danny Katz went to a VW dealership with an owner of one of the 482,000 “clean diesel" vehicles that were designed to get around EPA emissions standards. We're asking dealers to stand with their customers and tell VW headquarters to give them their money back.
Members of Congress hear repeatedly from lobbyists for corporate special interests in their offices and at fundraisers. How can consumer advocates balance the scales?
In most of the country, owning a car is all but required. And we're paying for it—to the tune of $1.2 trillion. This is putting the financial well-being of millions of Americans at risk, and NJPIRG and our national network are calling for change.
While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new director entertains removing its consumer complaint database from public view, that website feature is proving its worth. The CFPB published a record 257,000 consumer complaints in 2018, according to a new report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund. That brings the total to nearly 1.2 million since the CFPB began collecting complaints in December 2011.
Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million Rock n’Play baby sleepers on Friday. U.S. PIRG Consumer Watchdog Adam Garber issued a response: "“While we’re pleased that Fisher-Price is finally recalling these dangerous sleepers, 30 deaths in 10 years is 30 deaths too many and 10 years too late."
Read U.S. PIRG's statement on Wells Fargo eliminating some fees for student on debit cards.
Consumer Protection | U.S. PIRG
Report shows how campus debit cards — along with how they are marketed — are putting students' financial well-being at risk across the country.
Tools & Resources
An interactive map of active nuclear power plants in the U.S.
Seeking Compensation for Consumers and Environment
An Analysis of Complaints, and Results, From the CFPB
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