Volkswagen AG and a German auto supplier on Tuesday asked the US Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that two provinces could demand financial sanctions for excess diesel emissions that could amount to billions of dollars.
The US unit of the German automaker and Robert Bosch LLC asked the US Supreme Court to overturn a unanimous decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, stating that Utah's Salt Lake County and Florida's Hillsborough County a & # 39; dizzying & # 39; claim damages for updates of polluting diesel vehicles after they have been sold.
Volkswagen Group of America told the Supreme Court that the appeals court is "at risk of bringing one of America's largest industries into regulatory chaos to the detriment of manufacturers, dealers, consumers and the environment."
On Tuesday, the Ohio Supreme Court heard verbal arguments in the state's lawsuit against Volkswagen over emissions damage to 14,000 Ohio-registered cars. VW said in court documents that Ohio's claims "could total $ 350 million a day, or more than $ 127 billion a year, over several years."
Ohio said VW was involved in "deceptive recalls" after vehicles were sold and it "wants to hold Volkswagen accountable for modifying its customers' cars – cars that customers have already purchased and used. – to circumvent the emission laws. "
In September, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a $ 1.5 billion settlement with Daimler to resolve allegations that it was involved in defrauding emissions.
Volkswagen noted that Hillsborough County has since sued Daimler and Bosch and cited a district document that it could also file a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, now known as Stellantis.
Volkswagen settled US criminal and civil actions in response to the emissions scandal for more than $ 20 billion, but that did not protect it from the liability of the local and state government, the appeals court ruled, noting that it & # 39; were aware that our conclusion could lead to a dizzying Volkswagen. "
The court added that it was "due to behavior not expected by Congress: Volkswagen & # 39; s deliberate tampering with post-sale vehicles to increase air pollution."
US District Judge Charles Breyer, who ruled in favor of VW in 2018, noted that the automaker could "potentially incur fines of up to $ 30.6 million per day and $ 11.2 billion per year" in the case involving the two provinces are involved.
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington, edition by Matthew Lewis)
Top photo: On this Monday, April 27, 2020. file photo, the Volkswagen logo is on the top of a VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Swen Pfoertner / dpa via AP)
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