THE US government is suing Volkswagen over the diesel emissions scandal, a move that could cost the German carmaker billions of pounds.
A lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice, acting on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), alleged that VW violated America’s Clean Air Act by fitting nearly 600,000 vehicles with ‘illegal defeat devices’.
VW has previously admitted installing the software, which was designed to produce low emissions during regulatory testing, obscuring the fact that the engines were producing emissions in normal use that exceeded EPA standards.
The lawsuit also showed that VW could be fined around £20,000 per vehicle, costing the company billions in total, dwarfing the £4.8bn it has already set aside. The scandal has already wiped billions of euros off VW’s share price, and it has admitted that some 11m cars worldwide could be affected.
‘We’re alleging that (VW) knew what they were doing, they intentionally violated the law and that the consequences were significant to health,’ a justice department official told the Reuters new agency.
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