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Volkswagen to pay $157 million to 10 states in settlement of emissions cheating lawsuit

Volkswagen’s Emission’s Cheating Plan

A multi-state court settlement has occurred with auto manufacturer Volkswagen over its emissions cheating plan and use of software designed to produce false readings on vehicle emissions tests.

Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, has agreed to pay $157 million to 10 states to settle emissions cheating plan environmental lawsuits filed last year concerning the company’s use of the software.

 The settlement marks the first time these 10 states  – all of which have adopted California’s stringent vehicle emission standards – have secured an environmental settlement from an automobile manufacturer for violations of state emissions laws.

Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills says “We will not tolerate the flouting of our state’s environmental laws, the legacy of Senators Ed Muskie and George Mitchell. We will enforce Maine’s environmental standards stringently.”  “Our air, water and natural resources and the health of our people are critically important. The action by VW to deliberately violate Maine’s motor vehicle emission standards affected all of us and it was important to bring this action on behalf of the people of Maine.”

The settlement covers 3-liter, six-cylinder diesel engines and is separate from a $603 million agreement reached last year with 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that covered 2-liter engines, according to the Associated Press.

Maine’s share of the money will go toward funding “environmentally beneficial projects and programs across the state.” Maine is entitled to receive $5,162,281, one of the smaller payouts, with Pennsylvania getting the largest settlement amount, $30,434,055.

The complaint against Volkswagen alleged the company and its subsidiaries, Audi and Porsche, secretly used unlawful software in vehicles to circumvent state emission laws.  The company sold more than 570,000 cars and sport utility vehicles that exceeded pollution standards in Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Washington.  See Story Here.