The attorneys general of New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts are suing Volkswagen for violating state environmental regulations with its diesel emissions cheating scandal, which was “orchestrated and approved at the highest levels of the company.”
Coordinated lawsuits were filed on Tuesday. All three states say Volkswagen has violated their air quality laws, combined with some sort of anti-fraud measure for the defeat mechanisms to bypass emissions testing.
"Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche defrauded thousands of Massachusetts consumers, polluted our air, and damaged our environment and then, to make matters worse, plotted a massive cover-up to mislead environmental regulators," said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in a statement.
“This was a widespread conspiracy involving many, many people,” said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who released his own statement.
The allegations “reveal a culture of deeply rooted corporate arrogance, combined with a conscious disregard for the rule of law or the protection of public health and the environment,” Schneiderman said. “Substantial penalties must be imposed on the Volkswagen companies, above and beyond the amount they have to pay to make American consumers whole.”
The suits outlined more than a decade of efforts by VW to deceive regulators in the United States and Europe, citing internal VW documents.
The lawsuit claims that “ultimately, Volkswagen and Audi decided not to expend the time and money necessary to re-engineer” the cars and decided “to employ cycle-beating defeat device software”.
VW has already agreed a billions settlement with federal regulators and owners in June. But now it seems to be not enough for US.
“Volkswagen continues to work cooperatively with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board on a comprehensive national resolution of all remaining environmental issues arising from the diesel matter... It is regrettable that some states have decided to sue for environmental claims now, notwithstanding their prior support of this ongoing federal-state collaborative process.” Volkswagen responds in a statement.