Chattanooga VW owner hopes class action lawsuit answers customer questions
A Chattanooga family is joining in on the class action lawsuit against Volkswagen.
Bill Sonnenburg has been a long-time Volkswagen loyalists. His first car in high school was a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle, and he's owned three other
VW cars since then including a 2009 diesel Jetta.
Now he and his wife are named in a class action lawsuit against the company, saying if they knew what they know now about the car's clean performance, they never would have made the purchase.
"No I don't think I would have bought it knowing it was tainted or tricky or rigged," Bill Sonnenburg said, "But it sure it fun to drive the way it is now."
Sonnenburg says his 2009 diesel Jetta gets the best gas mileage out of any of the cars he's owned, and he loves the turbo performance.
"And it's extremely peppy and fun to drive, it's been a great car," Sonnenburg said.
He thought it was the perfect car. But it turns out, it's one of the 11 million cars Volkswagen installed with software to cheat emissions testing.
Sonnenburg's car was marketed as having a clean diesel engine but now the whole world knows that's not true.
"I pretty much have stopped driving it, it's really not fair to drive it," Sonnenburg said, "I don't want to stand behind it and breathe whats coming out of it."
Sonnenburg took Channel 3 for a quick ride to show us why he was so impressed with its performance, and why he's now suing the company for fraud and violating the consumer protection act.
He says the class action lawsuit is not about claiming money -- it's to make sure Volkswagen keeps its customers informed.
Because at this point, Sonnenburg has more questions than answers.
"For example if I go to sell it now, am I even allowed to sell it? Can I in good conscious sell it?" He asked.
And when his car is due for an emissions test in April, he wonders what happens there?
"Can I get it inspected annually? Will it even pass? And if our local emissions people pass it, should I say to them that they shouldn't have passed it?"
He's concerned the fix could hurt his car's value and hurt its performance.
But at the end of the day, he hopes the company he's currently suing will be able to make a comeback.
"We want good for the community and the company as well," Sonnenburg said, "And I'll remain loyal to Volkswagen, I've been driving their cars for close to 50 years."
Bill Sonnenburg is one of seven plaintiffs named in the lawsuit.
A Chattanooga federal judge has been assigned to this case but it's still not clear if the case will be heard in Chattanooga or another city since so many people are joining in on the class action lawsuit nationwide.
Volkswagen was served with the papers last week and has 21 days to respond.
We'll keep you updated once we learn more.