VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — Volkswagen’s scandal over emissions testing is having a widespread impact, one that’s being felt here in Southern California with questions emerging from car owners.
At Ocean Auto Care, a shop in Studio City that specializes in VW repairs, Owner Jeff Stephens says customers have been calling all day concerned about VW’s emission “admission.”READ MORE: USC Alerts Staff To Alleged Sexual Assaults At Sigma Nu Fraternity House
“I’ve had a lot of calls, ‘What do I feel?’ That’s basically the call I’m getting,” Stephens said.
On Wednesday, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down over the scandal, saying he accepts responsibility, but was “not aware of any wrongdoing.”
According to officials, the 11 million cars with software allegedly designed to cheat U.S. emissions standards are diesel versions of five popular models built between 2009-2015.
VW says it is moving full speed towards a fix and has set aside more than $7 billion to deal with the problem, but it’s now facing up to $18 billion in possible fines.READ MORE: Long Beach Man Killed In Fatal Collision
“Ultimately, I think Volkswagen is going to have to face the music,” David Vendler, an attorney, said.
Vendler has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against VW and is trying to consolidate at least two dozen similar lawsuits from across the nation.
“People who bought these cars bought them because they wanted to be environmentally clean and now those cars are not, so these people don’t want these cars,” Vendler said.
Stephens says customers should wait to see what VW offers. He says he’s poured his life savings into his repair business and is hopeful the VW brand will survive.
“They’re going to try to make this right. I strongly believe that,” he said.MORE NEWS: Prop Gun Misfire On Set Of 'Rust,' Starring Alec Baldwin, Kills 1 Person, Wounds Another
A spokesperson for VW declined to comment because of pending litigation. It’s unclear exactly when or how the company plans to contact all affected customers.