The Federal Trade Commission sued Volkswagen in California federal court Tuesday, alleging the automaker’s “clean diesel” advertising campaign deceived consumers and coerced them into buying vehicles fitted with devices designed to cheat emissions standards.
The FTC is seeking a court order requiring Volkswagen Group of America Inc. to compensate all U.S. consumers who purchased or leased the automaker’s so-called clean diesel cars between late-2008 and 2015 because of alleged false advertising that the vehicles had low emissions, complied with state and federal emissions standards, were environmentally friendly and retained a high resale value.
“For years Volkswagen’s ads touted the company’s ‘Clean Diesel’ cars even though it now appears Volkswagen rigged the cars with devices designed to defeat emissions tests,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said. “Our lawsuit seeks compensation for the consumers who bought affected cars based on Volkswagen’s deceptive and unfair practices.”
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