[JURIST] Volkswagen (VW) [corporate website] reached additional settlements [press release] with US state attorneys general on Thursday for emissions standards fraud. In addition to a $4.3 billion settlement agreement [PDF] that VW reached with the US Department of Justice [official website] earlier this month, VW has now agreed to pay approximately $157.5 million to 10 states in order to settle consumer and environmental state claims stemming from the violations of emission standards. The settlement agreement was reached with Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. These states have adopted California’s vehicle emissions standards, which are more stringent than normal US standards, per a waiver [text] from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website].
The VW scandal began in September 2015 when it was leaked that VW had intentionally circumvented emissions tests through installing technology to determine when emissions testing would take place and alter the cars emissions during inspections. It was found that the practice took place for at least six years. In February VW agreed to plead guilty and pay billions of dollars [JURIST report] to correct their 3.0 liter diesel engine vehicles. VW pled guilty [JURIST report] earlier this month per the agreement. In December the EU decided to take action [JURIST report] against seven member states over the emissions scandal. A US judge approved [JURIST report] a $14.7 billion settlement in October between VW and the US Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the state of California and car owners who filed a class action lawsuit over the company’s emissions scandal. In September the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sued [JURIST report] VW and its local subsidiary for misleading customers. In July a judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California gave preliminary approval [JURIST report] to a $15 billion settlement between VW and the US Environmental Protection Agency, California officials and consumers.