Volkswagen emissions scandal: US consumer watchdog Federal Trade Commission sues VW over "deceptive" clean diesel claims

Francesca Washtell
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Emissions Falsification Scandal Rocks Volkswagen
The FTC has called the company's claims it provided clean diesel vehicles both "unfair" and "deceptive" (Source: Getty)

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has become the latest body to sue Volkswagen (VW) over its "deceptive" diesel emissions claims.

The consumer watchdog announced today that it was starting proceedings against the US arm of the German car manufacturer and wants it to be ordered to compensate the 550,000 customers who bought or leased a "clean" diesel car from the company. It is also seeking an injunction to prevent VW behaving similarly in future.

"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."

The agency said US consumers had suffered "billions of dollars" in injury due to the emissions scandal, in which VW publicly claimed its cars were environmentally friendly but had been rigged with software to hide real levels of pollution emitted from vehicles.

"Volkswagen has received the complaint and continues to cooperate with all relevant US regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission," VW said in a statement. "Our most important priority is to find a solution to the diesel emissions matter and earn back the trust of our customers and dealers as we build a better company."

In another blow to the company, VW announced this morning it will recall all the electric vehicles it has sold in the US since 2014 - some 5,600 electric e-Golf cars - because of a software glitch that can cause the cars to stall and shut down.

The company's US boss Michael Horn stepped down earlier in March, six months after the company admitted to rigging emissions tests.

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