The US state of Texas has now hopped inside the litigation bandwagon over VW AG’s manipulation of diesel emissions tests in the country, with the authorities seeking penalties for about 32, 000 cheating diesel vehicles.
Texas has accused in court the German automaker of violating state consumer protection laws and clean air levels via the use of so-called defeat devices that can rig the pollution levels of certain diesel-powered cars. The state has filed two lawsuits by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in state court in Austin, and these fall in line with similar actions by West Virginia and the county that encompasses Houston. These court actions follow EPA’s September 18 announcement that VW used rigged software to hack vehicles and make them artificially follow emissions standards – but only when the laboratory test conditions were met. The company has also acknowledged that up to 11 million autos worldwide were also equipped with the deceptive software, among them around half a million in the US.
Among a myriad of national investigations, the most important so far might be those conducted by prosecutors and other agencies in the US and Germany. In America, the attorneys general of 45 states and the District of Columbia have embarked in a joint probe to consider violations of consumer-protection and environmental laws. The fallout from the company’s biggest crisis in its 78-year history includes numerous lawsuits filed by VW and Audi owners – with more than 250 lawsuits filed as consumer class actions in US federal courts in at least 38 states, claiming fraud.