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Found 8 results

  1. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finds itself in hot water once again. Today, the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the company in Federal Court for using a “defeat device” on 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 from the 2014 to 2016 model years. This follows news from last week that FCA applied for certification the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as they feature new emission software. "The complaint alleges that FCA equipped nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA’s applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles’ emission control systems. The undisclosed software features lessen the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems during certain normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emission standards in the laboratory and during standard EPA testing, but during certain normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that are much higher than the EPA-compliant level," the Justice Department wrote in a statement today. As we reported last Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department was preparing a suit against FCA if an agreement couldn't be reached with the EPA. The two parties have been in discussions since the EPA first alleged the cheating back in January. "FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests," FCA said in a statement. Source: Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, U.S. Justice Department Press Release is on Page 2 United States Files Complaint Against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against FCA US LLC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., V.M. Motori S.p.A., and V.M. North America, Inc. (collectively referred to as FCA). The complaint alleges that nearly 104,000 light duty diesel vehicles containing 3.0 liter EcoDiesel engines are equipped with software functions that were not disclosed to regulators during the certification application process, and that the vehicles contain defeat devices. The complaint alleges that the undisclosed software functions cause the vehicles’ emission control systems to perform differently, and less effectively, during certain normal driving conditions than on federal emission tests, resulting in increased emissions of harmful air pollutants. The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to obtain a certificate of conformity before introducing a vehicle into commerce, by demonstrating to EPA that the vehicle will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. Manufacturers must disclose in their certification applications all auxiliary emission control devices (e.g. computer software that affects the performance of emission controls based upon operating parameters of the vehicle), justify the presence of any such devices, and explain why those that reduce the effectiveness of emission controls are not “defeat devices.” Motor vehicles equipped with defeat devices cannot be certified. The complaint alleges that FCA equipped nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA’s applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles’ emission control systems. The undisclosed software features lessen the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems during certain normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emission standards in the laboratory and during standard EPA testing, but during certain normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that are much higher than the EPA-compliant level. The complaint alleges that each of these vehicles differs materially from the specifications provided to EPA in the certification applications, and thus the cars are uncertified, in violation of the Clean Air Act. These allegations are consistent with those set forth in notice of violation (“NOV”) that EPA issued to FCA US LLC and FCA NV on Jan. 12, 2017. Following the issuance of the NOV, EPA continued its investigation into the operation of the undisclosed software-based features. Based upon this investigation, the complaint alleges that one or more of these undisclosed software features, alone or in combination with the others, renders inoperative, bypasses and/or defeats the vehicles’ emission control systems, which were installed to make the vehicles comply with Clean Air Act emission standards. In short, the complaint now alleges that the vehicles contain defeat devices. NOx pollution contributes to the formation of harmful smog and soot, exposure to which is linked to a number of respiratory- and cardiovascular-related health effects as well as premature death. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health effects related to smog or soot exposure. Nitrogen dioxide formed by NOx emissions can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, and may also contribute to asthma development in children. The civil complaint filed today seeks injunctive relief and the assessment of civil penalties. The United States also filed a notice that it will request to transfer its case and fully participate in the pretrial proceedings now initiated in the related multi-district litigation in the Northern District of California. EPA and the California Air Resources Board are continuing in their discussions with FCA to bring the subject vehicles into compliance with the Clean Air Act and California law. The nature and timing of any resolution of this issue are uncertain. Response: Filing by DOJ-ENRD May 23, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US today issued the following statement in response to a civil lawsuit filed against the company by the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ-ENRD”): FCA US has been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for many months, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the Company’s emissions control technology in model-year (MY) 2014-2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. As FCA US announced last week, it has developed updated emissions software calibrations that it believes address the concerns of EPA and CARB, and has now formally filed for diesel vehicle emissions certification with the regulators for its 2017 model year (MY) Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. Subject to the permission of EPA and CARB, FCA US intends to install the same modified emissions software in 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US believes this will address the agencies’ concerns regarding the emissions software calibrations in those vehicles. FCA expects that the installation of these updated software calibrations will improve the 2014-2016 MY vehicles’ emissions performance and does not anticipate any impact on performance or fuel efficiency. Notwithstanding this lawsuit, the Company remains committed to working cooperatively with EPA and CARB to resolve the agencies’ concerns quickly and amicably.
  2. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finds itself in hot water once again. Today, the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the company in Federal Court for using a “defeat device” on 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 from the 2014 to 2016 model years. This follows news from last week that FCA applied for certification the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as they feature new emission software. "The complaint alleges that FCA equipped nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA’s applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles’ emission control systems. The undisclosed software features lessen the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems during certain normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emission standards in the laboratory and during standard EPA testing, but during certain normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that are much higher than the EPA-compliant level," the Justice Department wrote in a statement today. As we reported last Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department was preparing a suit against FCA if an agreement couldn't be reached with the EPA. The two parties have been in discussions since the EPA first alleged the cheating back in January. "FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests," FCA said in a statement. Source: Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, U.S. Justice Department Press Release is on Page 2 United States Files Complaint Against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against FCA US LLC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., V.M. Motori S.p.A., and V.M. North America, Inc. (collectively referred to as FCA). The complaint alleges that nearly 104,000 light duty diesel vehicles containing 3.0 liter EcoDiesel engines are equipped with software functions that were not disclosed to regulators during the certification application process, and that the vehicles contain defeat devices. The complaint alleges that the undisclosed software functions cause the vehicles’ emission control systems to perform differently, and less effectively, during certain normal driving conditions than on federal emission tests, resulting in increased emissions of harmful air pollutants. The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to obtain a certificate of conformity before introducing a vehicle into commerce, by demonstrating to EPA that the vehicle will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. Manufacturers must disclose in their certification applications all auxiliary emission control devices (e.g. computer software that affects the performance of emission controls based upon operating parameters of the vehicle), justify the presence of any such devices, and explain why those that reduce the effectiveness of emission controls are not “defeat devices.” Motor vehicles equipped with defeat devices cannot be certified. The complaint alleges that FCA equipped nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA’s applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles’ emission control systems. The undisclosed software features lessen the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems during certain normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emission standards in the laboratory and during standard EPA testing, but during certain normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that are much higher than the EPA-compliant level. The complaint alleges that each of these vehicles differs materially from the specifications provided to EPA in the certification applications, and thus the cars are uncertified, in violation of the Clean Air Act. These allegations are consistent with those set forth in notice of violation (“NOV”) that EPA issued to FCA US LLC and FCA NV on Jan. 12, 2017. Following the issuance of the NOV, EPA continued its investigation into the operation of the undisclosed software-based features. Based upon this investigation, the complaint alleges that one or more of these undisclosed software features, alone or in combination with the others, renders inoperative, bypasses and/or defeats the vehicles’ emission control systems, which were installed to make the vehicles comply with Clean Air Act emission standards. In short, the complaint now alleges that the vehicles contain defeat devices. NOx pollution contributes to the formation of harmful smog and soot, exposure to which is linked to a number of respiratory- and cardiovascular-related health effects as well as premature death. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health effects related to smog or soot exposure. Nitrogen dioxide formed by NOx emissions can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, and may also contribute to asthma development in children. The civil complaint filed today seeks injunctive relief and the assessment of civil penalties. The United States also filed a notice that it will request to transfer its case and fully participate in the pretrial proceedings now initiated in the related multi-district litigation in the Northern District of California. EPA and the California Air Resources Board are continuing in their discussions with FCA to bring the subject vehicles into compliance with the Clean Air Act and California law. The nature and timing of any resolution of this issue are uncertain. Response: Filing by DOJ-ENRD May 23, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US today issued the following statement in response to a civil lawsuit filed against the company by the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ-ENRD”): FCA US has been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for many months, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the Company’s emissions control technology in model-year (MY) 2014-2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. As FCA US announced last week, it has developed updated emissions software calibrations that it believes address the concerns of EPA and CARB, and has now formally filed for diesel vehicle emissions certification with the regulators for its 2017 model year (MY) Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. Subject to the permission of EPA and CARB, FCA US intends to install the same modified emissions software in 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US believes this will address the agencies’ concerns regarding the emissions software calibrations in those vehicles. FCA expects that the installation of these updated software calibrations will improve the 2014-2016 MY vehicles’ emissions performance and does not anticipate any impact on performance or fuel efficiency. Notwithstanding this lawsuit, the Company remains committed to working cooperatively with EPA and CARB to resolve the agencies’ concerns quickly and amicably. View full article
  3. Volkswagen is facing criminal charges over the diesel emission scandal in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports that investigators from the U.S. Justice Department have found evidence of criminal wrongdoing. It is unclear what the evidence is. According to sources, federal prosecutors are still trying to figure out what charges should be brought against Volkswagen. Sources go on to say that prosecutors and lawyers from Volkswagen have held preliminary discussions about the case. The two parties are trying to reach a settlement before the end of the year. A matter up for debate is whether the Justice Department will seek a guilty plea or a deferred prosecution agreement; a deal with the U.S. Government would aim to dismiss the charges at a later date if the automaker complies to terms of a settlement. Both Toyota and General Motors have gone down this route recently, dealing with safety issues. Investigators have been reviewing over 1.5 million documents as part of the criminal probe. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said back in June the probe involved “multiple individuals.” It is unknown if prosecutors are planning to charge Volkswagen employees over the diesel emission scandal. If so, they would need to be extradited from Germany to have their day in court. Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  4. Volkswagen is facing criminal charges over the diesel emission scandal in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports that investigators from the U.S. Justice Department have found evidence of criminal wrongdoing. It is unclear what the evidence is. According to sources, federal prosecutors are still trying to figure out what charges should be brought against Volkswagen. Sources go on to say that prosecutors and lawyers from Volkswagen have held preliminary discussions about the case. The two parties are trying to reach a settlement before the end of the year. A matter up for debate is whether the Justice Department will seek a guilty plea or a deferred prosecution agreement; a deal with the U.S. Government would aim to dismiss the charges at a later date if the automaker complies to terms of a settlement. Both Toyota and General Motors have gone down this route recently, dealing with safety issues. Investigators have been reviewing over 1.5 million documents as part of the criminal probe. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said back in June the probe involved “multiple individuals.” It is unknown if prosecutors are planning to charge Volkswagen employees over the diesel emission scandal. If so, they would need to be extradited from Germany to have their day in court. Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  5. Volkswagen has already missed one deadline set by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on reaching a deal with the U.S. Government over the diesel emission scandal. Breyer has given them a second deadline of April 21st. Now the administrator of the EPA worries they could miss the second one. Speaking to reporters at a breakfast, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said she has concerns about the two groups being able to reach a deal before the deadline. "I wouldn't take any single signal as the direction of those negotiations or where any final agreement - if we reach one - will end up," said McCarthy. If an agreement isn't reached by April 21st, Breyer has said he would consider bringing this to trial over the summer. Source: Reuters
  6. Volkswagen has already missed one deadline set by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on reaching a deal with the U.S. Government over the diesel emission scandal. Breyer has given them a second deadline of April 21st. Now the administrator of the EPA worries they could miss the second one. Speaking to reporters at a breakfast, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said she has concerns about the two groups being able to reach a deal before the deadline. "I wouldn't take any single signal as the direction of those negotiations or where any final agreement - if we reach one - will end up," said McCarthy. If an agreement isn't reached by April 21st, Breyer has said he would consider bringing this to trial over the summer. Source: Reuters View full article
  7. The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a civil suit against Volkswagen today for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act by using illegal cheating devices on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles. "The United States will pursue all appropriate remedies against Volkswagen to redress the violations of our nation's clean air laws," said Assistant Attorney General John Cruden. A senior official at the Department of Justice tells Reuters the penalties in the lawsuit could cost the German automaker billions of dollars. The official also says the suit doesn't preclude the Justice Department from filing criminal charges against Volkswagen. The suit will be filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, before heading to Northern California where the class-action lawsuits will be heard. UPDATE: Volkswagen has issued a statement after the lawsuit was filed. "Today, the United States Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a civil lawsuit against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The claims in the Complaint pertain to the 2.0L and 3.0L TDI engine equipped vehicles that have been the subject of EPA investigations and allege violations of the same provisions of the Clean Air Act as were noted in the EPA’s September 18 and November 2 Notices of Violation. Volkswagen will continue to work cooperatively with the EPA on developing remedies to bring the TDI vehicles into full compliance with regulations as soon as possible. In addition, we are working with Kenneth Feinberg to develop an independent, fair and swift process for resolving private consumer claims relating to these issues. We will continue to cooperate with all government agencies investigating these matters." We also have a total amount of penalties that Volkswagen could be facing. In the suit, U.S. environmental officials are asking for these penalties to be applied, $37,500 for each Volkswagen diesel vehicle that emits more than the legal limit of emissions $37,500 for each Volkswagen diesel vehicle that was 'tampered' Up to $3,750 for each defeat device Up to $37,500 for each day since 2009 that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act Add it all up and Volkswagen could be looking at a maximum of $40 billion in fines. Source: Reuters, U.S. Department of Justice Press Release is on Page 2 United States Files Complaint Against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC, Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America Inc. (collectively referred to as Volkswagen). The complaint alleges that nearly 600,000 diesel engine vehicles had illegal defeat devices installed that impair their emission control systems and cause emissions to exceed EPA’s standards, resulting in harmful air pollution. The complaint further alleges that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling, introducing into commerce, or importing into the United States motor vehicles that are designed differently from what Volkswagen had stated in applications for certification to EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). “Car manufacturers that fail to properly certify their cars and that defeat emission control systems breach the public trust, endanger public health and disadvantage competitors,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The United States will pursue all appropriate remedies against Volkswagen to redress the violations of our nation’s clean air laws alleged in the complaint.” “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,” said Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “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.” “Today’s complaint is the first stage in bringing Volkswagen to justice for failing to disclose the defeat device while seeking certification for its diesel vehicles from EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality in Ann Arbor, Michigan,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan. “The alleged misrepresentations allowed almost 600,000 diesel engines to emit excessive air pollution across the country, harming our health and cheating consumers.” Consistent with EPA’s Notices of Violation, issued on Sept. 18, 2015, for 2.0 liter engines and Nov. 2, 2015 for certain 3.0 liter engines, the complaint alleges that the defeat devices cause emissions to exceed EPA’s standards during normal driving conditions. The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to certify to EPA that their products will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. Motor vehicles equipped with illegal defeat devices cannot be certified. The complaint alleges that Volkswagen equipped certain 2.0 liter vehicles with software that detects when the car is being tested for compliance with EPA emissions standards and turns on full emissions controls only during that testing process. During normal driving situations the effectiveness of the emissions control devices is greatly reduced. This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory and at the test site, but during normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) at levels up to 40 times the EPA compliance level. In total, the complaint covers approximately 499,000 2.0 liter diesel vehicles sold in the United States since the 2009 model year. The complaint further alleges that Volkswagen also equipped certain 3.0 liter vehicles with software that senses when the vehicle is undergoing federal emissions testing. When the vehicle senses the test procedure, it operates in a “temperature conditioning” mode and meets emissions standards. At all other times, including during normal vehicle operation, the vehicles operate in a “normal mode” that permits NOx emissions of up to nine times the federal standard. In total, the complaint covers approximately 85,000 3.0 liter diesel vehicles sold in the United States since the 2009 model year. NOx pollution contributes to harmful ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter. These pollutants are linked with asthma and other serious respiratory illnesses. Exposure to ozone and particulate matter is also associated with premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects. Children, the elderly and people with pre-existing respiratory disease are particularly at risk of health effects from exposure to these pollutants. Recent studies indicate that the direct health effects of NOx are worse than previously understood, including respiratory problems, damage to lung tissue and premature death. Today’s filing of a civil complaint under Sections 204 and 205 of the Clean Air Act seeks injunctive relief and the assessment of civil penalties. A civil complaint does not preclude the government from seeking other legal remedies. The United States will seek to transfer its case and fully participate in the pretrial proceedings now initiated in the related multi-district litigation in the Northern District of California. The United States’ investigation is ongoing, in close coordination with CARB. EPA and CARB have been in active discussion with Volkswagen about potential remedies and recalls to address the noncompliance, and those discussions are ongoing. Affected 2.0 liter diesel models and model years include: Jetta (2009-2015) Jetta Sportwagen (2009-2014) Beetle (2013-2015) Beetle Convertible (2013-2015) Audi A3 (2010-2015) Golf (2010-2015) Golf Sportwagen (2015) Passat (2012-2015) Affected 3.0 liter diesel models and model years include: Volkswagen Touareg (2009-2016) Porsche Cayenne (2013-2016) Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016) Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016) Audi A8 (2014 – 2016) Audi A8L (2014-2016) Audi Q5 (2014-2016) Audi Q7 (2009-2015)
  8. The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a civil suit against Volkswagen today for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act by using illegal cheating devices on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles. "The United States will pursue all appropriate remedies against Volkswagen to redress the violations of our nation's clean air laws," said Assistant Attorney General John Cruden. A senior official at the Department of Justice tells Reuters the penalties in the lawsuit could cost the German automaker billions of dollars. The official also says the suit doesn't preclude the Justice Department from filing criminal charges against Volkswagen. The suit will be filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, before heading to Northern California where the class-action lawsuits will be heard. UPDATE: Volkswagen has issued a statement after the lawsuit was filed. "Today, the United States Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a civil lawsuit against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The claims in the Complaint pertain to the 2.0L and 3.0L TDI engine equipped vehicles that have been the subject of EPA investigations and allege violations of the same provisions of the Clean Air Act as were noted in the EPA’s September 18 and November 2 Notices of Violation. Volkswagen will continue to work cooperatively with the EPA on developing remedies to bring the TDI vehicles into full compliance with regulations as soon as possible. In addition, we are working with Kenneth Feinberg to develop an independent, fair and swift process for resolving private consumer claims relating to these issues. We will continue to cooperate with all government agencies investigating these matters." We also have a total amount of penalties that Volkswagen could be facing. In the suit, U.S. environmental officials are asking for these penalties to be applied, $37,500 for each Volkswagen diesel vehicle that emits more than the legal limit of emissions $37,500 for each Volkswagen diesel vehicle that was 'tampered' Up to $3,750 for each defeat device Up to $37,500 for each day since 2009 that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act Add it all up and Volkswagen could be looking at a maximum of $40 billion in fines. Source: Reuters, U.S. Department of Justice Press Release is on Page 2 United States Files Complaint Against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC, Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America Inc. (collectively referred to as Volkswagen). The complaint alleges that nearly 600,000 diesel engine vehicles had illegal defeat devices installed that impair their emission control systems and cause emissions to exceed EPA’s standards, resulting in harmful air pollution. The complaint further alleges that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling, introducing into commerce, or importing into the United States motor vehicles that are designed differently from what Volkswagen had stated in applications for certification to EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). “Car manufacturers that fail to properly certify their cars and that defeat emission control systems breach the public trust, endanger public health and disadvantage competitors,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The United States will pursue all appropriate remedies against Volkswagen to redress the violations of our nation’s clean air laws alleged in the complaint.” “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,” said Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “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.” “Today’s complaint is the first stage in bringing Volkswagen to justice for failing to disclose the defeat device while seeking certification for its diesel vehicles from EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality in Ann Arbor, Michigan,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan. “The alleged misrepresentations allowed almost 600,000 diesel engines to emit excessive air pollution across the country, harming our health and cheating consumers.” Consistent with EPA’s Notices of Violation, issued on Sept. 18, 2015, for 2.0 liter engines and Nov. 2, 2015 for certain 3.0 liter engines, the complaint alleges that the defeat devices cause emissions to exceed EPA’s standards during normal driving conditions. The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to certify to EPA that their products will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. Motor vehicles equipped with illegal defeat devices cannot be certified. The complaint alleges that Volkswagen equipped certain 2.0 liter vehicles with software that detects when the car is being tested for compliance with EPA emissions standards and turns on full emissions controls only during that testing process. During normal driving situations the effectiveness of the emissions control devices is greatly reduced. This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory and at the test site, but during normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) at levels up to 40 times the EPA compliance level. In total, the complaint covers approximately 499,000 2.0 liter diesel vehicles sold in the United States since the 2009 model year. The complaint further alleges that Volkswagen also equipped certain 3.0 liter vehicles with software that senses when the vehicle is undergoing federal emissions testing. When the vehicle senses the test procedure, it operates in a “temperature conditioning” mode and meets emissions standards. At all other times, including during normal vehicle operation, the vehicles operate in a “normal mode” that permits NOx emissions of up to nine times the federal standard. In total, the complaint covers approximately 85,000 3.0 liter diesel vehicles sold in the United States since the 2009 model year. NOx pollution contributes to harmful ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter. These pollutants are linked with asthma and other serious respiratory illnesses. Exposure to ozone and particulate matter is also associated with premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects. Children, the elderly and people with pre-existing respiratory disease are particularly at risk of health effects from exposure to these pollutants. Recent studies indicate that the direct health effects of NOx are worse than previously understood, including respiratory problems, damage to lung tissue and premature death. Today’s filing of a civil complaint under Sections 204 and 205 of the Clean Air Act seeks injunctive relief and the assessment of civil penalties. A civil complaint does not preclude the government from seeking other legal remedies. The United States will seek to transfer its case and fully participate in the pretrial proceedings now initiated in the related multi-district litigation in the Northern District of California. The United States’ investigation is ongoing, in close coordination with CARB. EPA and CARB have been in active discussion with Volkswagen about potential remedies and recalls to address the noncompliance, and those discussions are ongoing. Affected 2.0 liter diesel models and model years include: Jetta (2009-2015) Jetta Sportwagen (2009-2014) Beetle (2013-2015) Beetle Convertible (2013-2015) Audi A3 (2010-2015) Golf (2010-2015) Golf Sportwagen (2015) Passat (2012-2015) Affected 3.0 liter diesel models and model years include: Volkswagen Touareg (2009-2016) Porsche Cayenne (2013-2016) Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016) Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016) Audi A8 (2014 – 2016) Audi A8L (2014-2016) Audi Q5 (2014-2016) Audi Q7 (2009-2015) View full article

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