The State of New Jersey filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen America as well as other related companies with fraud on Friday in connection to the companies recent scandal involving diesel engine emissions, according to Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.
The suit alleges the German-based automaker perpetrated a “massive” fraud on consumers and violated the State’s clean air statutes by selling diesel vehicles equipped with software that deactivated their on-board emission controls except during emissions testing.
The suit goes on to claim that Volkswagen “profited greatly” from its effort -- launched in 2005 -- to gain a greater share of the U.S. passenger vehicle market by quietly developing, then deceptively promoting, diesel vehicles that appeared to be environmentally friendly, the attorney general said.
“Like any other business – large or small – auto makers have an obligation to represent the products they sell honestly, and to ensure those products comply with all applicable laws," Hoffman said in a statement. "When they fail to do so, as we allege was the case with Volkswagen, we will hold them accountable.”
Current estimates are that Volkswagen sold approximately 580,000 vehicles equipped with the defeat software in the United States. Based on records maintained by the State, approximately 17,420 of these vehicles have been registered in New Jersey, the attorney general said.
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