Cars already emit a lot of chemicals into the atmosphere, but imagine 600,000 more vehicles that are each emitting 40 times the pollution of the average automobile.
On Jan. 4, the automotive company Volkswagen was sued by the U.S. Justice Department for the manufacturing of 600,000 cars in the United States with illicit devices that made the cars appear to comply with emissions standards.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint claiming that the company installed software that cheated the federal emissions test. The Jan. 4 lawsuit solely dealt with cars sold in the United States. In September, Volkswagen confessed to the manufacturing and sale of 11 million vehicles worldwide, all of which were made with the devices installed in them.
“Car manufacturers that…defeat emission-control systems breach the public trust, endanger public health, and disadvantage competitors,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
The lawsuit penalizes the automotive company for four counts of violating the U.S. Clean Air Act, which could cost the company billions of dollars.
The emission-control system regulates the amount of toxic gases that are leaked into the atmosphere; in order to keep the amount in check, cars go through an emissions test. However, the illicit devices allowed the Volkswagen automotive company to cheat the emissions test for nearly 12 million vehicles.
Keum Whang, the owner and mechanic at a 76 gas station in Los Angeles, told JSR, “They are huge conmen. It’s unbelievable!” Whang completely agreed with the lawsuits being filed against Volkswagen.
Whang continued, “This scandal regarding the diesels influences not only our health in the United States, but also people worldwide. Imagine if this wrong act was not exposed, and the automotive company continued to cheat the emissions system. Imagine the amount of noxious gas that would fill the air of our homes, our streets, and inside our bodies. They cheated their consumers to sell products, and this is a huge violation of business ethics. The Volkswagen Co.’s business ethics are completely gone, and they should pay the penalty prices.”
According to Automotive News, the lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Michigan and will be transferred to Northern California, where the case will be evaluated for further action.