Salt Lake D.A. suing Volkswagen over air quality violations

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SALT LAKE CITY - Thursday could bring good news for some Volkswagen owners.

"There's going to be a lot of people who are going to want to keep their cars, and they'll have the fix done, and they'll take the $5,000," said Jeff Keller, owner of Utah Imports in Salt Lake City.

Keller is reacting to reports that VW has reached a settlement with the U.S. Government, including payouts to individual customers. The German automaker is in hot water after admitting some of its diesel model cars were loaded with software to get them past emissions test when the cars should have failed.

"The car doesn't pass when you're driving it, but it passes when you're testing it," Keller said.

Salt Lake County is also seeking damages from Volkswagen. On Wednesday, District Attorney Sim Gill filed a civil suit claiming the deception by the automaker has added to poor air quality issues along the Wasatch Front.

"This will not be tolerated in our community," Gill said. "Not by a large corporate entity or an individual polluter."

He said by statute, the county has the authority to seek up to $5,000 per car per day for the violations.

"When we talk about a public health crisis in our community, that health crisis is our eroding air quality," said Gill, who called it both a legal and moral obligation to file the suit.

Volkswagen would not comment specifically about the Salt Lake County lawsuit, but issued a general statement about the ongoing emissions issues.

"We are committed to regaining the trust of our customers and dealers and will continue to cooperate with all relevant government agencies," the company stated.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Volkswagen will reach a settlement during its court hearing in San Francisco, California. That is where the potential for payments to individual customers could also be announced. To find out if your car is one of the models impacted, click here.

Here is the information D. A. Gill's office sent to Fox 13:

SLCo DA Sues Volkwagen Over Emissions Air Quality

8 comments

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  • bob

    Good luck.

    This is what your liberal D.A. does instead of prosecuting criminals. All political vendetta and liberal fru-fru.

    Did anyone give VW credit for the fact that a TDI can hit 60 mpg on the freeway? No.

    I’m currently in the market for a used “cheater” TDI, and the moment it’s “fixed” i’m going to un-fix it. They get unbelievable fuel economy by “cheating.” That’s why they did it. They routinely shatter the EPA fuel economy numbers. Especially on the freeway. I have no problem with that. Cheat all you want! Diesels should get a free pass. We need to use a LOT less oil. Diesels use 1/3 less while doing the same work. OPEC would be wiped out. Fuel would be dirt cheap. We’d be energy-independent.

    • bob

      Emissions standards are based on “parts per million”, with no concern at all for how many “millions” a vehicle produces. Thus, a Suburban burning 4x as much fuel per mile gets to pollute as much as 4 VW diesels.

      The standard should be PER MILE. A diesel should be allowed to be 4x as “dirty” as a Suburban if it uses 1/4 the fuel. We should be encouraging less fuel consumption, not punishing it.

      Diesel fuel also uses less energy to refine. And you get more middle distillates from a barrel of oil than gasoline, if you tune the refinery for that purpose. Yet diesel cars get no credit at all for any of these things.

      They produce a LOT less CO2 per mile, if you’re one of those “global warming” types. But, again, they get no credit for it. The EPA treats them like they’re the Devil incarnate.

  • bob

    By the way, any fines or settlements are paid by VW customers. Every penny. What did THEY do, Mr. Gill? They were just trying to save fuel.

  • Ric

    Well if we or I mean they are going to sue vw then they should also sue the clowns that were able to override the computers on pickups that do coalrolling and pour out more pollution and particulates in one second than an entire fleet of vee dubs would produce in a month.

    • bob

      Particles big enough to see settle out of the air almost immediately. They’re not a concern, unless you’re sucking on the tailpipe. But yes, those idiots need to find a less obnoxious hobby.

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