Dealer sues Volkswagen over $5M diesel scandal loss

VW dealer Napleton Automotive is taking legal action.

A Chicago-area auto-dealership owner is suing Volkswagen for not properly warning it about the diesel-emissions scandal that broke last September. Napleton Automotive Group, a family-owned dealer group that has been in business since 1931, filed the lawsuit, with principal Ed Napleton calling the situation "sickening," according to the Chicago Tribune." VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan told the Tribune that the company was reviewing the claim but declined to comment further.

VW sold Napleton a dealership after regulators were made aware of the emissions issue.

The lawsuit stems largely from the fact that VW sold Napleton a dealership in Urbana, Illinois, last September, after regulators were made aware of the emissions issue but just days before the scandal went public, according to the Tribune. With VW sales down, Napleton says he's lost more than $5 million because of the scandal.

Of course, Napleton has to get in the lawsuit line. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued VW, saying its "clean diesel" marketing campaign, which included Super Bowl television commercials, amounted to false advertising. The FTC started getting complaints from VW owners last October. A group of 278 VW investors also filed a $3.6 billion lawsuit against the company, saying that the automaker didn't properly inform the shareholders of the scandal. And late last year, a group called the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBGDF) jumped into the fray by suing Volkswagen.

Volkswagen sold about 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the US that included software designed to "cheat" the emissions-testing process. Volkswagen was on the verge of missing last month's deadline set by US District Judge Charles Breyer to come up with a sufficient fix for the issue before that deadline was extended to April 21. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has gone on record as saying she isn't confident that VW will be able to meet this extended deadline.

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