Automaker fraudulently promoted, sold diesel vehicles with rigged emissions software
FRANKFORT, KY. (March 22, 2016) – Attorney General Andy Beshear today announced his office has filed a lawsuit against automaker Volkswagen and its connected brands Audi and Porsche for intentionally deceiving Kentucky consumers.
Beshear’s lawsuit claims Volkswagen and its brands willfully violated Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act when it fraudulently promoted its Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI®) diesel-engine automobiles as having “clean diesel” technology.
Volkswagen has admitted that this claim was “dishonest” because the automobiles contained rigged software that cheated emissions tests.
“Volkswagen must be held accountable for its false and misleading promotion and sales of its vehicles in the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “Kentuckians should know that my office will not tolerate such brazen and deceptive behavior.”
In the lawsuit, Beshear seeks civil penalties for violations of the Consumer Protection Act, an injunction barring similar future practices by the company and asserts other claims. The lawsuit will preserve an avenue for restitution for the owners of the nearly 3,800 vehicles registered in Kentucky, if they do not receive other relief.
The lawsuit alleges that Volkswagen developed, installed and concealed “defeat devices” or software inside certain diesel engine models. These devices detected the presence of emissions-testing equipment to mask the true emission levels of the vehicle during testing.
In September, Volkswagen admitted “irregularities” in its diesel engines with the emissions software, saying it was “deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public” and that it would “make things right with the government, the public” and its customers.
The company sold or leased 580,000 of these vehicles in the United States and 11 million worldwide.
Beshear’s lawsuit can be viewed here.