Volkswagen emissions scandal | KNKX

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Ted S. Warren/file / AP Photo

Washington’s Department of Ecology has a plan to spend nearly $113 million on cleaner transportation technologies.

The money is part of the state’s settlement with Volkswagen after the German car manufacturer was caught installing illegal software on many of its diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. 

Two owners of diesel-powered General Motors vehicles are accusing the car maker of producing an engine that exceeds U.S. standards for pollutant emissions under normal driving conditions, in a lawsuit that targets more than 700,000 Silverado trucks and Sierra SUVs.

The class-action lawsuit accuses GM of using "at least three separate 'defeat devices' to increase engine power and efficiency" in its Duramax diesel engines, citing tests on vehicles during several minutes of driving as well as at temperatures outside of the certification range of 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit.

DAMIAN DOVARGANES / AP

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is paying more than $157 million to 10 states to settle environmental lawsuits over the company's diesel emissions-cheating scandal.

The company says the money will go to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. All 10 states follow California's clean air standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Fiat Chrysler violated the Clean Air Act by allegedly installing and failing to disclose software in some 104,000 cars and trucks that alters emissions.

The automaker was required by law to disclose the software to regulators during the certification process but did not do so, the EPA announced Thursday. While the agency is still investigating the nature of these devices, it said the software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations over its diesel emissions cheating scheme involving some 590,000 vehicles in the U.S.

The company has also agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts.

A veteran Volkswagen employee has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the carmaker's use of so-called "clean diesel" engines that actually cheated on U.S. emissions tests. Engineer James Robert Liang worked for VW in both Germany and the U.S.

Liang pleaded guilty to criminal charges that he conspired to defraud the U.S., to commit wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act; a grand jury indicted him three months ago, but that document was sealed until today.

Citing "a culture of deeply-rooted corporate arrogance," New York, Massachusetts and Maryland have filed civil lawsuits against Volkswagen, accusing the automaker of violating those states' environmental laws when it sold cars under the "clean diesel" label that were actually rigged to trick emissions tests.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay up to $10 billion to buy back cars and compensate U.S. vehicle owners in the largest civil settlement in automobile history.

The carmaker will also pay nearly $5 billion in environmental reparations.