Volkswagen faces USD$90 bil lawsuit over dieselgate


Volkswagen is facing a USD$90 billion (RM390 billion) lawsuit in the United States. The Department of Justice has filled a court action against the car maker for its attempts to cheat its way past the nation’s Clean Air Act with emissions-manipulating devices.

Following a thorough investigation, a complaint was put forward by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The complaint is based on allegations that nearly 600,000 Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen branded vehicles in the US have been equipped with systems that allowed it to cheat official emissions tests.

According to the Associated Press, the maximum fine faced by Volkswagen exceeds USD$90 billion (RM390 billion), based on each vehicle being penalised for the maximum USD$37,500 (RM163k) for the violation. This is a significant leap from the previously estimated USD$18 billion (RM78 billion) fine.

However, it is understood that Volkswagen is making a plea with the authorities, suggesting that the maximum fine would cripple the company’s future existence. Should its plea for leniency pay off, several reports suggest that a USD$21 billion (RM91 billion) figure is likely.

John C. Cruden, attorney general of the Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division told reporters that, “car manufacturers that fail to properly certify their cars and have defeat emission control systems breach the public trust, endanger public health and disadvantage competitors.”


He continued, “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.” Crudden was specifically referring to the allegations that in real-world scenarios, the Volkswagen vehicles involved showed exhaust emission levels that would cause it to fail official emissions tests.

The vehicles in violation particularly feature Volkswagen’s EA189 derived diesel engines which are equipped with the infamous “defeat device,” and 3.0 litre V6 TDI mills that are equipped with a “temperature conditioning” system. Vehicles with the defeat devices are capable of reducing their actual emissions by up to 40 times, while the temperature conditioning system in the diesel V6 reduced emissions by nine times.

In its reports, the EPA highlighted some of the ill effects of excessive NOx particulates from exhaust emissions. It says that these pollutants are also “linked to asthma and other serious respiratory illnesses.”

It continued, “exposure to ozone and particulate matter is also associated with premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects. Children, the elderly and people with pre-existing respiratory disease are particularly at risk of health effects from exposure to these pollutants. Recent studies indicate that the direct health effects of NOx are worse than previously understood, including respiratory problems, damage to lung tissue and premature death.”

Do note that this dieselgate issue here is a separate matter from the one ongoing in Europe. In its native continent, Volkswagen has claimed that the matter has been largely concluded. The company announced that there has been no “unlawful change” to its stated fuel consumption and CO2 figures and admitted that only a handful of new car variants have been affected.

These are the affected US models equipped with the EA189 engine:

  • VW Jetta (2009-2015)
  • VW Jetta Sportwagen (2009-2014)
  • VW Beetle (2013-2015)
  • VW Beetle Convertible (2013-2015)
  • Audi A3 (2010-2015)
  • VW Golf (2010-2015)
  • VW Golf Sportwagen (2015)
  • VW Passat (2012-2015)

And those equipped with the 3.0-litre V6 TDI:

  • Volkswagen Touareg (2009-2016)
  • Porsche Cayenne (2013-2016)
  • Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016)
  • Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016)
  • Audi A8 (2014 – 2016)
  • Audi A8L (2014-2016)
  • Audi Q5 (2014-2016)
  • Audi Q7 (2009-2015)

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Chris Aaron

With an equal passion for fast cars and everyday workhorses, Chris Aaron maintains a passion for European makes, Formula 1, playing the electric guitar and spending endless hours on the PlayStation - first-person shooters and the Gran Turismo franchise are his favourites. He also finds it strange to have written this in the third person.



  • Jimmy on Jan 05, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    This is international daylight robbery!
    Where is the justice?

    I know you are getting poorer and poorer, is that the reason that you need to rob here and rob there?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6
    • USGate on Jan 05, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      This is actually US protectionism policies at work as Europeans are powerful in making diesel engines while the US makers such as Ford and GM, though having diesel trucks, are largely not efficient. Also, the US is using and funding Tesla to be a global leader in electric cars, as they know they do not have strength in combustion engines anymore. Therfore diesel which is the biggest competition to electric vhicles in terms of clean emissions, is the first target. Next will be hybrid cars, such as Toyota and Honda. Among diesel cars, VW is the first victim, followed later on by Mercedes, BMW and the rest of the diesel makers. Peugeot and Renault, though big diesel makers in Europe, will not be targeted, as they do not have the size or capacity to sell in the US market. Fiat wont be touched, because they own Chrysler and also because they are not big in diesels. US$90 billion is not a big sum for VW, but it sure will dent its short term product planning (less than 5 years)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3
      • How come a cheater being relabeled as a victim…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11
      • Tornado on Jan 05, 2016 at 2:50 pm

        Looks to be the case. America of strongly pushing Tesla and its technology to everyone around the world despite diesels being far better in power output and efficiency.

        It won’t be long before Europe strike back – Facebook, Google and Apple will be the likely victims.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
      • Malek on Jan 05, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        I second that because in real world, Ford 1.5 eco-boost also emitting not much lesser than VW 2.0 turbo-diesel

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
        • US? I only know Obama plays golf with PM that smugglers 2,600 millions (aka 2.6 billions).

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5
    • Its either American justice or 500,000 tons of democracy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Dr Mamak on Jan 06, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Vw pandai tipu dan bohong mcm Barang Naik rejim.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • The amount might be hefty but given that they sold 11 million cars which have been polluting the air and putting our health at risk, it’s not too much.

    And I do hope VW gets into trouble, then some of nice brands would be free again, making cars that look cool and do not share the VW parts. Audi, Lamborghini and Porsche deserve the freedom.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11
    • Tornado on Jan 05, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      If VW sell off all the sports car companies, most will die except for Porsche. It takes a huge amount of money to build a sportscar that is fast, comfortable and reasonably efficient these days.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
    • Not true. First of all, it never sold 11 million cars. Secondly, the cars involved in this case are certain types of Diesel cars only, totaling less than 700,000 units. Thirdly, Porsche, Lamborghini and Audi will always remain part of the VW empire cause the groups “hidden assets” are far bigger than all the said cars revenue combined. This is despite Porsche being the most profitable car maker in the world, for the amount of cars that it makes.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6
      • Sammy Loo on Jan 05, 2016 at 6:29 pm

        VW Group admitted 11 million vehicles affected with this dieselgate issue.

        That is why you will never go wrong with sushi cars.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11
        • SamLooBengang on Jan 05, 2016 at 10:28 pm

          Thats where you are wrong, you never read the follow up stories. Its not 11 million. You only read the first story. Typical Toyota salesman, never read properly.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
  • i know volkswagen is wrong in this case..but whats with the usd 90 billion fine? too much for me..easy money for the US government?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
  • MeToo on Jan 05, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Do the crime, pay the fine.

    This is not a “mistake”, its a carefully planned crime that was carried out for YEARS. If no one caught them they would have continue to happily shit on the environment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8
  • Microscope on Jan 05, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Fuhhh! That’s like buying over Microsoft 100%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5
    • I dunno what source you read but as of Jan 2016, Microsoft is worth around $370 billion.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Who want to buy my Porsche Cayenne TDI?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6
    • Sammy Loo on Jan 05, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Just wait awhile more, the new Hilux is about to launch to replace your junk with fake emission figures.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6
  • cheating is the worst thing you can do.
    one day if we found Tesla cheating, we can do the same thing too.

    now, r.i.p VW.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7
  • Boleh! on Jan 05, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Das Auto!!!!!!!
    Ya right! LOLLLLLLLLLL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

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