Volkswagen Agrees to Pay West Virginia $2.65 Million Over Emission Cheating Scandal

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | May 27, 2018
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reached a greater than $2.65-million settlement with Volkswagen and two other automakers, while saving West Virginia more than a half million dollars in legal fees and likely exceeding the payout it would have received in multistate litigation.
 
Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi, by way of its association with Volkswagen, agreed to pay the state $2,654,200. The automakers admitted to using devices to cheat government emissions tests and agreed to refrain from unfair and deceptive practices in future dealings with West Virginia consumers. 
 
“This settlement marks a huge victory for West Virginia consumers,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Trust is a crucial element to the consumer-business relationship. This should send a strong message that our office will vigorously pursue anyone whose actions erode that relationship.”
 
The Attorney General unilaterally sued Volkswagen in October 2015, handled the litigation within his office and chose not to participate in a multistate settlement, all moves that saved the state more than a half million dollars in legal fees and likely helped it receive more than it would have as part of the broader settlement.

In particular, having handled the litigation in house means no portion of the $2.65-million settlement will be diverted to reimburse outside law firms.
 
Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi admit their 2.0- and 3.0-liter TDI diesel engines were equipped with defeat devices capable of cheating government emissions tests.
 
The Attorney General’s lawsuit alleged that scheme led to false advertising as the automakers’ self-described, “clean diesel” engines actually emitted up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide, a reality first discovered by researchers at West Virginia University.
 
Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi agreed they would not engage in deceptive acts regarding advertising and marketing of vehicles, as well as cease the selling, leasing or distributing of any vehicle equipped with a defeat device in West Virginia.
 
The settlement also sets forth certain reporting requirements and prohibits the automakers from misrepresenting a vehicle as “environmentally-friendly,” “green” or in compliance with state or local emissions standards.
 
The $2.65 million settlement, announced Tuesday, will have no impact on other settlements, including class-action compensation for consumers and agreed upon remedies for state and federal environmental concerns.
 
Read a copy of settlement at http://bit.ly/2Fxbu6T.
 

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