(Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced March
30 that Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, as well as their American subsidiaries,
will pay $157 million after allegations of violating environmental laws in
Massachusetts and nine other states.
Massachusetts will receive $20 million,
making it the largest civil penalty ever obtained by the state in an
environmental enforcement case, according to the attorney general's office.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman led the multistate coalition
against the automakers. According to the coalition, the automakers sold more
than 570,000 diesel vehicles to consumers that had illegal “defeat device”
software installed to bypass emission control tests. These vehicles allegedly
emitted harmful pollutants in excess of 35 times the legal limit during normal
“Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche perpetrated one of the most
egregious frauds in corporate history, and then repeatedly lied to the public
and regulators to cover up their deceit. These companies’ actions flagrantly violated the state laws that protect public health
and polluted the air that we breathe,” Healey said.
“This record-setting settlement shows state attorneys general will
pursue enforcement against powerful interests that illegally deceive consumers
and pollute the air.”