Maryland Joins Lawsuit Against Volkswagen

The company installed software in its vehicles to cheat on emissions’ tests.

Three states, including Maryland, have filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi. The suit comes after the German automaker installed software on its diesel powered vehicles which would hide their true air quality readings; while, at the same time, cheat on government emissions tests.

“The Hogan Administration’s environment agency stands for clean air, fair play and a healthy bay,” says Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “And we do not stand for Volkswagen’s dirty diesel emissions tricks.”

Grumbles says Maryland is seeking $25,000 per day for each day Volkswagen violated state laws. In addition, he says the state also wants Marylanders who purchased these vehicles with the “defeat device” to have the options they need to get compensation.  He says an estimated 13,000 state residents own VW vehicles.

“We in Maryland feel strongly that given how stringent and protective our laws are that they need to be respected, and Volkswagen needs to pay for thumbing its nose at our air and water laws throughout the state,” says Grumbles.

The other states joining Maryland in this suit are New York and Massachusetts.

Last month, VW agreed with federal officials to spend up to $15.3-billion to settle consumer and government claims. Grumbles says Maryland hopes to reap some of benefits from that settlement which will be used to help reduce Nitrogen oxide emissions which cause air pollution. He says the state could get $71-million from that settlement.

Volkswagen says it’s “regrettable” that the states are suing while the company is in talks about a national resolution to this problem.