After the discovery that it installed software allowing diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests, the heat is coming down on Volkswagen.

Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned last week, and the company may soon face a criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department.

On top of that, VW must face the wrath of angry owners.

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Many of the owners of the 482,000 implicated VW and Audi vehicles in the U.S. bought their cars because of an expected environmental benefit.

So learning that VW Group diesels can emit up to 40 times pollutants allowed by current regulations has led to confusion, anger, and feelings of betrayal.

"I want nothing to do with the brand," Richard Marshall, owner of a 2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI, said, adding that he wants to sell his diesel as soon as possible.

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE

Aaron Schneiderman--a VW Jetta TDI owner from Baltimore--called the cheating scandal an example of how "corporate greed and malice work to the detriment of ethical behavior and human health."

Joe Wiesner, an R&D manager from Milwaukee, bought his Golf TDI on the promise of low emissions, and was outraged to find that VW had apparently flouted measures intended to ensure better air quality.

"In every other way, my Golf is a really good car, but I don't want to be associated with the badge on the grille anymore," he said.

MORE: VW, Audi TDI Diesel Cars Had 'Defeat Device' That Violated EPA Rules, 500K Cars Recalled

A recall won't be announced until Volkswagen can design a fix for the problem. The company has set aside $7.3 billion to deal with the entirety of the emissions scandal.

But even if the affected cars can have their emissions reduced to legal limits, owners may still have some issues to worry about.

Some analysts expect any potential emissions fix to negatively impact the car's fuel economy or performance.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI's fun-to-drive character convinced John Decker, a photographer from Sacramento, to choose it over a Toyota Prius.

But knowing that VW seems to have only achieved that level of performance by not regulating emissions has ruined the car's appeal, Decker told The New York Times.

He doubts that Volkswagen will be able to reduce the Jetta's emissions without affecting performance, and wants VW to buy the car back.

Clifford Law Offices in Chicago and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Seattle have both filed class-action lawsuits against Volkswagen, according to The Detroit News.

The Seattle firm told the paper that it has received more than 3,000 inquiries from consumers and expects to have plaintiffs soon from all 50 states.


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