Three U.S. states file civil lawsuits against Volkswagen claiming the company's senior executives covered up evidence in emission cheating scandal. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Three U.S. states - New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts - have filed separate, but nearly identical, civil lawsuits against Volkswagen claiming the company's senior executives covered up evidence in an emission cheating scandal. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (SOUNDBITE) ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Volkswagen acted as if they were above the law. They had no respect for authorities in this country or another country, state, federal. They thought they were above the law. And the claims that we are bringing today, and the fact in the complaint make it clear. And we have to ensure that the penalties that they pay are steep enough so that no car company ever thinks, or no corporation of any kind, ever thinks they can get away with something like this again." The lawsuits also cover Volkswagen's Audi and Porsche brands. They complicate the company's efforts to move past the "Dieselgate" scandal that has hurt its business and reputation. (SOUNDBITE) DAVID SHEPARDSON, REPORTER, REUTERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This just opens the door, is a reminder that this is far from over. The company's gonna have to buy back vehicles for at least two years, has to make these environmental payments for at least ten years. So, this very painful, multi-billion dollar scandal is not gonna end anytime soon." Volkswagen responded to news of the lawsuits saying the company already has agreed to spend billions of dollars to address all environmental harms from the excess emissions. It also still faces a criminal investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice.