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34 Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against Volkswagen

I’ve been working with NPR to discuss a number of the week. This time it’s 34 — that’s the number of federal lawsuits filed against Volkswagen as of Friday stemming from the German carmaker’s admission that it had designed cars to cheat pollution tests given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since 500,000 cars have been recalled in the U.S. as a result, the attorneys filing those 34 cases hope they will result in a class-action lawsuit.

Don’t know what a class-action lawsuit is? That’s OK. With NPR’s Weekend Edition team, I explain what the term means, how long such suits typically take to settle and the sums involved — and what plaintiffs in the Volkswagen case can expect.

Mona Chalabi is data editor at the Guardian US, and a columnist at New York Magazine. She was previously a lead news writer for FiveThirtyEight.