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Madigan sues Volkswagen over emissions software

(CHICAGO) Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen, claiming the company violated state environmental laws by tampering with emissions controls in its diesel vehicles.

The complaint, filed Monday in Cook County circuit court, is seeking civil penalties against Volkswagen, according to a statement from the attorney general’s office.

The suit claims that Volkswagen equipped its 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter Volkswagen and Audi diesel-engine cars with software that allowed them to pass emissions tests when they actually emitted higher levels of nitrogen oxides than were legally allowed.

“Volkswagen promoted its cars as environmentally friendly, clean diesel vehicles that in fact, polluted our air and our communities by breaking state and federal emissions laws,” Madigan said in the statement.

Madigan and 42 other state attorneys general reached a separate $275 million settlement with Volkswagen earlier this year for violations of consumer protection laws related to the emissions software, prosecutors said. The software affected about 29,800 cars sold in Illinois.

That settlement provided payments to affected customers, required Volkswagen to buy back or modify affected vehicles and prohibited the company from “engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection with its dealings with consumers and regulators,” according to the attorney general’s office.