German automaker Volkswagen is now facing a lawsuit brought by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice for selling 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. with software helping the vehicles cheat through emissions tests. The scandal was uncovered in September of last year, when it was discovered that cars with so-called “clean diesel engines” contained “defeat devices” designed to sense when the vehicle was being tested and modify the way the engines run. It is estimated that as many as 11 million Volkswagen vehicles contain the defeat devices.
The following Volkswagen models, manufactured between 2008 and 2015, contain the device:
- VW Beetle
- VW Jetta
- VW Golf
- VW Passat
- Audi A3
In the civil complaint, the carmaker is accused of violating the Clean Air Act by importing and distributing cars that did not meet the EPA’s emissions standards. It was discovered that the vehicles released up to 40 times more harmful pollutants than acceptable levels under normal driving conditions. According to Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the EPA, recall discussions with Volkswagen have not produced any acceptable way to move forward, and will continue together with the federal court action.
In a statement by the EPA, the agency has said their demands for civil penalties and injunctive relief won’t impede the government from seeking further legal remedies in the future.
Owners of affected Volkswagen vehicles may be able to take legal action against the automaker for their deceptive and unethical behavior. Contact a New York attorney at The Russell Friedman Law Group, LLP for a free initial consultation to see if you have a case. We can be reached at (855) 465-4622.