The Department of Justice has sued German car maker Volkswagen over use of software in thousands of diesel cars so as to cheat on emission tests. The suit filed also includes their other brand – Audi wherein the same software was also used.
Marked as one of the largest scandals in the history of automotive industry, Volkswagen was found to have used software to manipulate information collected in tests undertaken by Environment Protection Agency. While Volkswagen admitted to the use of this cheat software in September 2015, the software was used in SUVs and diesel vehicles from the 2009 model year.
Department of Justice stated that the company has installed this device in close to 600,000 diesel engine systems thereby resulting in harmful air pollution. The Department of Justice filed a civil complaint in Detroit on Monday and deals only with these 600,000 vehicles sold in the US while regulators in India, South Korea and Germany will be conducting independent investigations into the VW cheat software.
The 70 year old Volkswagen which has posted $13 billion in profits in 2014 now faces over $18 billion in the form of fines and compulsory recalls if found to have violated the US Clean Air Act. Besides this, the company could also face criminal charges by the federal government while other private law suits could also follow thereby crippling the very future of the company.