U.S. County Sues VW for 'Deceitful Acts' That Hurt Its Ability to Improve Air Quality

October 2, 2015

Volkswagen is about to learn just what it means to mess with Texas. Harris County, home to Houston, is suing the car giant for more than $100 million in what officials are calling the “first” local government suit against VW following its emissions scandal. Here’s county attorney Vince Ryan, via a press release from his office:

“These tampered cars were emitting nitrogen oxides, or NOx, every day well in excess of legal limits. Volkswagen’s deceitful acts have damaged the county’s ability to improve air quality, reach clean air attainment status and protect our citizens.”

The suit alleges that VW violated seven environmental-related health and safety codes by rigging its diesel cars to avoid emissions standards, including laws related to “unauthorized air emissions” and “anti-tampering” rules. Harris County is an EPA “non-attainment” zone for ozone emissions, a designation reserved for areas that don’t meet federal environmental standards. The NOx emissions produced by tampered VW diesels are known to contribute to ozone formation; from the petition:

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