July 27, 2016
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – Landmark lawsuits against Volkswagen and its affiliates Audi and Porsche, have been announced by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
The legal action by three states concerns the automaker fitting cars with illegal “defeat devices” that concealed illegal amounts of harmful emissions these cars spewed. To make matters worse, Volkswagen attempted a massive cover-up to mislead environmental regulators.
“The allegations against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche reveal a culture of deeply-rooted corporate arrogance, combined with a conscious disregard for the rule of law and the protection of public health and the environment,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “These suits should serve as a siren in every corporate board room, that if any company engages in this type of calculated and systematic illegality, we will bring the full force of the law—and seek the stiffest possible sanctions—to protect our citizens.”
These lawsuits by the New York, Massachusetts and Maryland Attorneys General offices follow a nine-month long investigation by a multistate coalition of over 40 states and other jurisdictions. The complaints allege a year-and-a-half cover-up by Volkswagen.
“These automobile manufacturers deliberately deceived the public into believing their cars met emissions standards when in fact they were excessively polluting the air,” said New York DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “This corrupt behavior is unacceptable and it undermines our efforts to protect public health and combat climate change."