Harris County Attorney sues Volkswagen over emissions scandal

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An emission control scandal affecting millions of cars is now the focus of a lawsuit by the Harris County Attorney. The lawsuit just filed against Volkswagen is asking for millions of dollars in penalties. The county says the lawsuit is one of the first of its kind.

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., for reportedly fraudulently manipulating emission controls in their vehicles. Ryan is seeking civil penalties in excess of $100 million for the estimated 6,000 diesel Volkswagens sold in the county. However, he suggests the number of vehicles could increase as the county continues its investigation.

"Harris County, with its massive traffic and petrochemical industry, has had difficulty in meeting federal clean air requirements," said Ryan. "Volkswagen's deceitful acts have damaged the county's ability to improve air quality, reach clean air attainment status and protect our citizens."

"We believe that we are the first governmental agency to file a major suit against Volkswagen and look forward to working with state and local governments that have similar claims," Ryan explained.

The Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month issued a notice of violation to Volkswagen, saying it had equipped many of its diesel vehicles with software that could detect when emissions tests were being performed. The software would then provide false results that indicated the vehicle was in compliance with emission standards.
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