About five months after the manufacturers’ emission scandal erupted, the US Justice Department gave an announcement about suing Volkswagen for up to US$48 billion regarding violations of environmental laws. The lawsuits echoes the increasing number of allegations following the German manufacturers’ admittance of installing devices to trick emissions tests in a number of 2.0 liter models. Although civil lawsuits are generally settle in a much lower amount compared to the hypothetical maximum penalties, analysts claim that Volkswagen may be up to a larger expense than what was already expected.
The Volkswagen lawsuit alleged the manufacturer installed illegal devices in order to tweak emission control systems in approximately 600, 000 units in the United States. Despite Volkswagens’ shares recovering following the car manufacturer’s positive news of simple repairs, stocks are still suffering from the scandal and causing analysts to worry about its impact on the United States since Volkswagen has been struggling to make inroads; the tougher regulations may prove possible bigger fines.
The installation of illegal devices allowed Volkswagen to avoid expensive engine revamps in order to meet US standards. Aside from the 2.0 liter vehicles, the Us Volkswagen lawsuit also included a number or 3.0 liter models such as the Porsche Cayenne. Filed in behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the lawsuit alleges the German manufacturer of four counts of violation of the US Clean Air Act, altering emissions control system and failure to report the violations. Furthermore, investigation has been done regarding criminal fraud allegations on misleading consumers as well as regulators, although this criminal complaint may require heavier burden of proof.
Because of Volkswagens’ admittance of their actions, defending themselves in court can be very difficult. What the manufacturer can do now is to negotiate lower penalties. The civil lawsuit will not prohibit the Justice department from pursuing criminal charges against Volkswagen, but the company has already issued their statement affirming they will “…continue to work cooperatively with the EPA on developing remedies” as well as cooperating with other government agencies to investigate the issues.