Seal of the United States Department of Justice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Volkswagen was sued by the Justice Department on Monday. Illegal software was found in almost 600,000 cars. This may mean the company will face billions in fines.
The complaint was filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency in U.S. District Court. It accuses the company of illegally installing software which would make its “clean diesel” engine pass emission standards. This software then turned off, thereby polluting the air.
Failure to certify cars, affects the public and competitors. The public faces the prospect of being penalized for having illegally installed emissions controls. Competitors have properly installed emissions control systems. Profits and sales are affected from unfair competition.
All measures will be taken to redress the violations by the U.S. Government.
Volkswagen is currently in the midst of a recall.
The company faces more than $18 billion in fines for violating the Clean Air Act.
Criminal charges are possible.
Many lawsuits are pending.
Investigations are ongoing.
Volkswagen executives attempted to blame some software developers in Germany for the faulty software. This is being investigated.
The illegal software has been installed in car models since 2009. In total 11 million cars were affected.
The accusation is that Volkswagen deliberately deceived its customers and emissions control authorities.
The cars lacked a “certificate of conformity” which is routinely issued by the EPA.
The cars polluted the air, produced nitrogen oxide, and particulate emissions.
From 16-94 deaths occurred due to the added pollution.
The EPA is attempting to reach an agreement on acceptable recall measures.
The case was filed in Michigan but is expected to move to Northern California.