West Virginia amends complaint over Volkswagen emissions

August 3, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia attorney general’s office has amended a civil complaint against Volkswagen of America Inc. over the automaker’s emissions-rigging scandal.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Wednesday that the complaint now includes Volkswagen’s parent and its Audi and Porsche brands. The German automaker has admitted rigging diesel emissions technology to pass U.S. smog tests.

“My office remains committed to holding each entity responsible,” Morrisey said.

The Kanawha County Circuit Court complaint also includes German auto supplier Bosch, which it says made the “defeat devices” that turned pollution controls on during Environmental Protection Agency lab tests and turned them off on real roads. That allowed the cars to emit more pollution while being driven.

Volkswagen has since admitted that it knowingly defeated the EPA’s testing routine for seven years before being caught by the International Council on Clean Transportation, which hired West Virginia University to test a VW on real roads.

“I believe our continuing effort will protect consumers and the citizens of our state better than the proposed federal settlement. West Virginia helped first discover this problem — we need to ensure that the solution works for our state,” Morrisey said.

The complaint seeks civil penalties of $5,000 per violation and refunds for West Virginia consumers who bought Volkswagen’s TDI clean diesel vehicles. The complaint estimates more than 2,700 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche branded vehicles from model years 2009 to 2016 were registered in West Virginia.

A U.S.-based spokeswoman for Volkswagen didn’t immediately offer comment Wednesday. Bosch said in a statement it plans to continue defending itself as the case proceeds and declined to comment further on a pending legal matter.