A Carmel, Indiana man has filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen after learning that his 2011 Jetta TDI was equipped with software designed to cheat emissions testing.

What’s the problem?

October 19 – According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Tom Richards purchased the VW Jetta because the salesman told him it got good gas mileage and was environmentally friendly, statements that are not entirely true.

“I’ve had a couple VW’s before and very pleased with the cars that I’ve had,” Richards said. “But this one now, it’s not what I want. It’s not what I bought.”

Volkswagen CEO Michael Horn told congress a small number of engineers designed the “defeat device” software, and that management didn’t know about it.

“I would like to offer a sincere apology and we are determined to make things right,” Horn said.

But Richards isn’t buying the apology, and says he no longer trusts the automaker.

“I was already sold on the fact that my previous car was a Volkswagen, so I was there.  It was a very good salesperson,” Richards said. “I’m not one to do much more than kick tires. But, when I read it in the paper, then I knew, this is not right. That’s the bottom line.”

Richards alleges his Jetta lost value as a result of the emissions cheating scandal, and that it will be difficult to resell. Further, plaintiff contends that even though his Jetta has been recalled, the fix is not going to make it as fuel-efficient as advertised because the company has to go back and make it work the way they said it would. Recalled vehicles won’t get the desired mileage, which will cause people to trade them in or sell them to other people, according to the lawsuit.

“I feel every time I get in it now, I am violating something. I feel bad because I feel I’m polluting more, I was hoping to go the other direction,” Richards said. “I feel somewhat betrayed because I’ve learned this wasn’t just a happenstance. This was planned. This was purposely planned in order to sell cars without going through the process of helping the environment.”

The complaint seeks compensation for costs, restitution and damages including punitive damages.

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