Following revelations of emissions violations from Volkswagen, Klobuchar called on the Department of Justice to take strong action against Volkswagen and for the company to address the consumer, environmental, and public health issues caused by this deception before it contributes to any further loss of life.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar released the following statement on the $14.7 billion Volkswagen settlement for emissions violations:
“With every rigged emissions test, Volkswagen harmed public health, polluted our air, and deceived American consumers. We could not let this stand, and that’s why I called on the Department of Justice to take strong action against Volkswagen. Today’s record settlement makes clear that this kind of deliberate deception will not be tolerated by the American public.”
Klobuchar has been a leader in the U.S. Senate in protecting consumers and holding those responsible for wrongdoing accountable. After efforts from Klobuchar, and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward Markey (D-MA), earlier this year the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a civil suit against Volkswagen over the company’s use of emissions-cheating software to skirt federal emissions tests. Klobuchar and Blumenthal sent a letter to the DOJ in September urging the agency to take strong civil and criminal actions against Volkswagen for any violations following the German carmaker’s actions that misled hundreds of thousands of American consumers and resulted in tens of thousands of tons of additional pollution emissions. Following the Volkswagen revelations, Klobuchar called on Volkswagen to take immediate action to address issues caused by its deceptive diesel emissions testing process. She urged the company to issue a recall that was comprehensive and covered all affected models and years, execute a robust public awareness campaign, and develop a process through which customers can be compensated for the costs of reduced fuel economy and lower resale values. After a call to action from Klobuchar, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced changes to its diesel emissions testing process. In addition, Klobuchar took to the Senate floor to urge the EPA to explain why its emission standards approval process did not detect this deceptive software and call on the agency to establish robust safeguards to prevent automakers from gaming the system again.