WASHINGTON – On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected Volkswagen’s appeal, which was designed to block state and local lawsuits related to the 2015 scandal in which the automaker found that the automaker manipulated its vehicles to defraud U.S. diesel emission tests.
The court action allowed environmental protection agencies in Ohio, Salt Lake County, Utah, and Hillsborough County, Florida (including Tampa) to continue to file suits. The lower court stated that Volkswagen may face “amazing liability” for state and local claims.
The company argues that federal law gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, not state and local officials, the power to monitor its actions.
The company stated in its court documents that Germany-based Volkswagen eventually paid more than $23 billion in fines and settlement fees to federal regulators.
It is now facing additional lawsuits from state and local governments as it admits that it has installed software on 585,000 new cars sold in the United States and more than 11 million cars worldwide, which turned on pollution control during government testing and turned them off during testing . road.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Florida and Utah lawsuits can continue to target software updates installed by Volkswagen in order to continue to deceive when the owner sends the vehicle for repair or recall.
In another case, the Ohio Supreme Court also rejected Volkswagen’s argument that the Federal Clean Air Act did not take precedence over the state’s claims that Volkswagen violated Ohio’s anti-air pollution laws.
The judges did not comment on the refusal, only pointing out that Judge Stephen Breyer was not involved. His brother, Charles Breyer, the U.S. District Judge of San Francisco, handled some of the lawsuits.