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Department of Justice Sues Volkswagen

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Jan. 5, 2016—On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Volkswagen for allegedly equipping hundreds of thousands of its vehicles with special electronic equipment designed to evade emissions testing, according to a report by Law360.

In September, Volkswagen admitted that it has been cheating vehicle emissions standards by installing software that allowed vehicles to emit more toxins in the air after they left the testing facilities in at least 11 million of its diesel cars.

The DOJ’s civil complaint, filed on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, named Volkswagen, AG,  Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC, Porsche AG, and Porsche Cars North America Inc. as defendants, according to the report.

The complaint alleges that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling, introducing into commerce, or importing into the U.S. motor vehicles that are designed differently from what Volkswagen had stated in applications for certification to EPA and the California Air Resources Board.

“With today’s filing, we take an important step to protect public health by seeking to hold Volkswagen accountable for any unlawful air pollution, setting us on a path to resolution,” Cynthia Giles, the EPA’s enforcement chief, said in a statement, according to Law360. “So far, recall discussions with the company have not produced an acceptable way forward. These discussions will continue in parallel with the federal court action.”

In addition to the new government lawsuit, there are currently several consumer class action lawsuits pending against Volkswagen.

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