Compensating Car Owners Will Be Big Test for Volkswagen

When Steve Berman, a plaintiffs lawyer in Seattle, heard about the Volkswagen scandal, he quickly posted a video on YouTube urging vehicle owners to contact him.

We are going to launch a lawsuit on behalf of consumers against Volkswagen, and you are welcome to join, said Mr. Berman, who has been involved in class-action lawsuits against carmakers, drug companies and the tobacco industry.

Mr. Berman was one of dozens of lawyers who raced to the courthouse after Volkswagen disclosed last week that it had used rigged software to enable its vehicles with diesel engines to pass air emissions tests. Shareholders have also sued the company, and regulators have said they plan to take a