[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) issued the following statement today regarding news that Volkswagen is in advanced discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice to plead guilty to criminal misconduct and pay a $4.3 billion penalty to settle charges related to the automaker’s vehicle emission scandal.
“VW committed crimes against consumers and the environment and criminal penalties and an admission of criminal wrongdoing would be a welcome and necessary counterpart to the historic civil settlement. We are pleased that the Department of Justice has heeded our call to vigorously pursue this criminal investigation against VW executives who knowingly and intentionally deceived regulators. Holding individual executives culpable is critical to effectively halt wrongdoing and deter future misconduct,” Blumenthal and Markey said.
Last year, Markey and Blumenthal and U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced the Compensating Losses to the Environment from Automobiles with Noxious Undisclosed Pollution (CLEAN-UP) Act, legislation that would deny Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) credits to any auto manufacturer that circumvents emissions control requirements and would use monies collected from automakers that violate the law to be made available to programs that restore and improve air quality. The Senators also urged VW to ensure that owners of VW vehicles containing emission defeat devices are offered multiple options for adequate compensation for the damages and inconveniences incurred on them by the company’s deception.