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The Volkswagen Air Pollution Emissions Litigation

July 2016

Citation: 46 ELR 10564

Issue: 7

Author: Arnold W. Reitze Jr.

On September 18, 2015, EPA announced that 482,000 Volkswagen diesel engine vehicles sold in the United States were programmed to pass emissions tests, but when operated under normal driving conditions emit air pollutants well above the legal limit. Volkswagen initially estimated the financial impact of these transgressions may cost the company over $9.24 billion, but by April 2016, the estimate had increased to $18.2 billion to cover the global emissions cheating scandal. This Comment looks at the litigation and at the potential for criminal prosecution.

Arnold Reitze is Professor of Law at S.J. Quinney College of Law and a member of the Utah Air Quality Board.

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