The United States Department of Justice has just announced that it is filing suit against Volkswagen Group for its emissions-cheating software in VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles sold in the U.S.
The DOJ filed the suit on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, naming Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and each brand’s U.S. subdivisions. The complaint alleges that nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. were equipped with defeat devices that allowed the cars to pass emissions testing while emitting far more than the legal limit of certain pollutants in everyday driving.
“Car manufacturers that fail to properly certify their cars and that defeat emission-control systems breach the public trust, endanger public health, and disadvantage competitors,” said assistant attorney general John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The United States will pursue all appropriate remedies against Volkswagen to redress the violations of our nation’s clean-air laws alleged in the complaint.”
Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said, “so far, recall discussions with the company have not produced an acceptable way forward. These discussions will continue in parallel with the federal court action.”
The complaint names nearly 500,000 2.0-liter TDI-powered Volkswagen models from 2009 to 2015—and roughly 85,000 3.0-liter TDI models from Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche—as violating U.S. environmental regulations. Volkswagen previously estimated that the cheating software was included in up to 11 million vehicles sold worldwide. You can read our full coverage of the scandal here.
The suit filed today provides the Department of Justice with the option of hitting Volkswagen with monetary civil penalties, although no dollar amount was specified in the filing.
This story originally appeared on Road & Track.