The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Lauren Lantry (202) 548-6599

United States Sues Volkswagen Over Emissions Cheating


Today the United States Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency filed a civil lawsuit against Volkswagen, alleging that the manufacturer installed defeat devices in nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles that increased the amount of health-threatening pollution emitted when the cars were not undergoing tests for federal emissions standards. In September 2015, the company admitted to installing software in certain diesel vehicles designed to bypass pollution control systems, resulting in dangerous emissions up to 40 times allowed by law.

Today's complaint marks the first litigation filed against Volkswagen by the United States over the emissions cheating scandal. Under the Clean Air Act, Volkswagen faces fines of up to $37,500 per vehicle.

In response, Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, released the following statement:

"Volkswagen broke the law, and today the Department of Justice and EPA are taking a step toward making them pay the price. By knowingly cheating emissions standards, Volkswagen manufactured cars around the world that spewed illegal amounts of dangerous pollution, fuelling sickening smog and threatening the health of millions of people. Volkswagen not only put profits before the health of our families and our planet, it ripped off mindful consumers who thought they were purchasing cleaner vehicles. Volkswagen executives must be held accountable.

"Volkswagen endangered the health of people and our planet with deceitful marketing and toxic pollution. Now, it's time that Volkswagen focus on building clean electric vehicles that don't make our families sick and our air dirty. You can't cheat on tailpipe emissions tests if there are no tailpipes."

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world.

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