Volkswagen and Audi have reached a tentative settlement with the state of Texas following their violation of environmental laws related to the notorious diesel emissions scandal. The German manufacturers have agreed to pay an $85 million civil penalty as part of the settlement.
The recent decision by the Texas Supreme Court allows the state’s environmental lawsuit against Volkswagen and Audi to proceed. This ruling reinforces the notion that the companies must face the consequences of their actions. It is worth noting that Volkswagen had previously reached a settlement with the U.S. government, which amounted to more than $20 billion in connection with the emissions scandal. However, this federal settlement did not absolve the company from liability to local and state governments.
Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, highlighted the importance of holding accountable those corporations that violate Texas laws and contribute to environmental pollution. Paxton emphasized that such violations would not be taken lightly.
In 2015, Volkswagen publicly admitted to using software to bypass emissions regulations in approximately 11 million vehicles worldwide. This revelation sparked outrage and led to extensive legal proceedings against the company.
While the details of the Texas settlement have not been immediately provided by Paxton’s office, this agreement signifies another step towards addressing the environmental damage caused by Volkswagen’s actions.
In 2021, Volkswagen’s U.S. subsidiary attempted to argue that only the federal government had the authority to prosecute Clean Air Act emission claims. However, their argument proved unsuccessful, highlighting the significance of state-level actions and the importance of holding Volkswagen accountable at all levels.