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The Volkswagen Air Pollution Emissions Litigation

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Abstract: On September 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (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. Interestingly, EPA, with a budget of $12 million to oversee compliance with transportation regulations, never discovered the cheating that went on for many years. Instead, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), a European environmental group, wanted to know how Volkswagen was meeting U.S. emission standards that were more stringent than Europe’s. ICCT hoped to have the U.S. technology adopted for European motor vehicles.

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