Volkswagen Executives Accused of Covering Up Diesel Cheating Scheme

2.0-liter TDI engine in Volkswagen 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland’s district attorneys filed separate lawsuits in respective state courts against Volkswagen.
The civil lawsuits accuse the German automaker of violating environmental laws, but the corporation is not the only one under the spotlight. According to the civil actions started on Tuesday, senior executives of Volkswagen are accused of allegedly covering up evidence of the company’s elaborate cheating scheme employed to pass emission testing procedures.

As Automotive News notes, the three lawsuits filed by the U.S. states mentioned above are nearly identical, and could lead to hefty fines applied to the corporation. The penalties described will come to Volkswagen on top of its settlement deal, and other states might pursue legal action against the company.

Approximately 53,000 vehicles made by Volkswagen were sold with “defeat devices” in the states of Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York.

Representatives of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office have indicated that they believe other American states could file similar actions shortly. The attorney generals of the three states mentioned above have been working together on Volkswagen’s suit.

According to the lawsuits filed against Volkswagen, the company refused to disclose a discovery made by the West Virginia University in March 2014, in which a real-world test of two Volkswagen cars with diesel engines generated nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) in a quantity that was five to 35 times more than the legally allowable limits.

Volkswagen and its executives are accused of knowing about the problem before it was discovered, as well as keeping it a secret from authorities, customers, and other partners.

A Volkswagen spokesperson has stated that the company finds it “regrettable” that some states have decided to sue it for environmental claims. Volkswagen representatives say that the allegations made by the three U.S. states are “essentially not new,” and that they have already been addressed in their discussions with authorities.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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