Following earlier revelations of emissions violations from Volkswagen, Klobuchar called on Volkswagen to take immediate action to address issues caused by its deceptive emissions testing process; Volkswagen was also required to pay $14.7 billion to regulators and car owners in a separate settlement—the largest fine against an automaker in U.S. history
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar released the following statement on Volkswagen’s $4.3 billion settlement for diesel emissions violations. In addition to the fines, six executives have been indicted and the company has pled guilty to three criminal counts.
“I believe that consumers must be protected. It’s a matter of public trust. Consumers were duped and sold a product under false pretenses that harmed public health and polluted our air. That’s why I called on the Department of Justice to leave no stone unturned in its investigation of Volkswagen. This settlement demonstrates that we will not allow this kind of deliberate deception to stand.”
Klobuchar has been a leader in the U.S. Senate in protecting consumers and holding those responsible for wrongdoing accountable. She serves on both the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. 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.