Justices turn away VW appeals over emissions scandal suits

The Supreme Court has turned away appeals from Volkswagen that sought to stop state and local lawsuits related to the 2015 scandal in which the automaker was found to have rigged its vehicles to cheat U.S. diesel emissions tests

Via AP news wire
Monday 15 November 2021 16:48

The Supreme Court on Monday turned away appeals from Volkswagen that sought to stop state and local lawsuits related to the 2015 scandal in which the automaker was found to have rigged its vehicles to cheat U.S. diesel emissions tests.

The court's action allows suits by Ohio Salt Lake County, Utah and the environmental protection agency in Hillsborough County Florida which includes Tampa, to continue. A lower court said Volkswagen could face “staggering liability” over the state and local claims.

The company argued that federal law gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, not state and local officials, authority to regulate its conduct.

German-based Volkswagen ultimately paid more than $23 billion in fines and settlements with federal regulators, the company said in its court filings.

It now is facing additional suits from state and local governments over its admission that it installed on 585,000 new cars sold in the U.S., and on more than 11 million cars worldwide, software that turns on pollution controls during government tests and shuts them off on the road.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the suits from Florida and Utah could continue over software updates that Volkswagen installed to allow the deception to continue, when owners took their vehicles in for service or recalls.

In a separate case, the Ohio Supreme Court also rejected Volkswagen's arguments in ruling that the federal Clean Air Act does not preempt the state's claim that Volkswagen violated Ohio's anti-air pollution laws.

The justices offered no comment on the rejection, other than to note that Justice Stephen Breyer did not participate. His brother, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco, has handled some of the lawsuits.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in