ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN SUES VOLKSWAGEN OVER ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF DIESEL EMISSIONS SCANDAL
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America Inc. for tampering with vehicle emissions controls in its 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter Volkswagen and Audi diesel engine cars sold nationwide.
Madigan's complaint was filed in Cook County Circuit Court and seeks civil penalties for Volkswagen's violations of state environmental laws by tampering with vehicle emissions controls.
Volkswagen branded the diesel cars as environmentally friendly, but equipped them with software that allowed the vehicles to pass environmental emissions tests even while actually emitting higher levels of nitrogen oxides than allowed under the law. The so-called "defeat device" software causes the vehicles' emissions control systems to activate when the cars are undergoing emissions testing, resulting in the cars emitting less nitrogen oxide. Illinois law prohibits tampering with vehicle emissions controls. The scandal affected approximately 29,800 cars sold in Illinois.
"Volkswagen promoted its cars as environmentally friendly, clean diesel vehicles that in fact, polluted our air and our communities by breaking state and federal emissions laws," Madigan said.
Madigan was among 43 state attorneys general that previously reached a separate $275 million settlement with Volkswagen earlier this year for violations of state consumer protection laws for marketing, selling and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed software that concealed the true levels of nitrogen oxide emissions by those vehicles. The agreement provides payments to affected consumers, requires Volkswagen to buy back or modify certain VW and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles, and prohibits Volkswagen from engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection with its dealings with consumers and regulators.
Division Chief Matthew Dunn, Environmental and Energy Counsel James Gignac, Supervising Attorney Gerry Karr, and Assistant Attorney General Angad Nagra are handling the case for Madigan's Environmental Division.