Will Volkswagen’s deliberate violations of the Federal Clean Air Act lead to the criminal prosecution of the company or any of its executives?

EPAOn September 18, 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency sent a Notice of Violation of the federal Clean Air Act to Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and Audi AG [collectively “Volkswagen”] which alleged that four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009 through 2013 include software that allowed Volkswagen to circumvent EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants. The software is known as a “defeat device” under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA’s Notice of Violation has already resulted in the resignation of Volkswagen’s top executive. Volkswagen also faces a massive fine from the EPA. Many are now speculating about whether the Department of Justice will bring criminal charges against either the company and/or any of its executives. Also, it appears that many purchases of the cars which included the defeat devices may become involved in one or more class action lawsuits against Volkswagen. We will continue to follow the developments on Volkswagen’s “defeat device” scandal and its consequences.

Attorney Michael H. Perry is a shareholder and previous President of Fraser Trebilcock. He has over 35 years of environmental and litigation experience. Contact Mike at mperry@fraserlawfirm.com or 517.377.08846.