Mark Iandolo Jul. 22, 2016, 12:42pm


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh have filed lawsuits against Volkswagen AG and its affiliates, Audi AG and Porsche AG, as well as their U.S. subsidiaries. The attorneys general argue that the automakers sold diesel vehicles fitted with illegal “defeat devices” that concealed illegal harmful emissions.

“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,” Schneiderman said.

The complaints arose after a study by researchers at West Virginia University found that diesel cars emitted more nitrogen oxides on the road than they did in emissions tests. The lawsuits allege that the companies tried to cover up the emission problem, failed to disclose the real reason for the discrepancies, and only confessed to the true problem when regulators brought forth all the facts.

“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,” Healey said.

Allegations also point to the highest levels of the companies helping in the coverup – including former CEO, Martin Winterkorn.

“Maryland has worked tirelessly, through Maryland’s Healthy Air Act and Clean Cars Act, as well as stringent regulations adopted by the Department of the Environment, to clean our air,” Frosh said.

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