US government files lawsuit against Volkswagen

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The US government is suing Volkswagen for illegally polluting the air, which could cost the German firm up to US$90bn if found guilty.

Meanwhile, the company’s brand manager Herbert Diess (above) says he is confident of finding an acceptable emissions fix for US cars and is working hard to ensure something similar doesn’t happen again.

The Justice Department announced on January 4 that it had filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen in Michigan’s federal court on behalf of the Environment Protection Agency for illegal air pollution.

“The United States will pursue all appropriate remedies against Volkswagen to redress the violations of our nation’s clean air laws,” said assistant attorney general John Cruden, head of the Justice Department’s environment and natural resources division.

The lawsuit claim is based on a figure of US$37,500 per vehicle for each of the four legal violations the affected cars commit, with 600,000 such cars sold in the country. Any eventual fine is expected to be considerably lower.

Volkswagen has yet to agree a fix with US regulators for the illegal cars, but brand chief Herbert Diess told a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that the company is “confident we will find an acceptable solution” to the problem. Diess added that Volkswagen was focused on “ensuring something like this can never happen again”.

VW CEO Matthias Mueller will be in the country mid-January for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)  in Detroit, his first visit since the issue began. He is expected to meet with regulators and politicians during his trip.

January 7, 2016

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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