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Maine Files New Suit Against Volkswagen in Emissions Scandal

Damian Dovarganes
Associated Press
In this Sept. 21, 2015, file photo, a Volkswagen logo is seen on car offered for sale at New Century Volkswagen dealership in Glendale, California.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills is filing a new lawsuit against Volkswagen and its sister companies in the ongoing aftermath of the automakers’ emissions-cheating scandal.

Filed in Kennebec County Superior Court, the suit alleges that starting in 2009, VW, Audi and Porsche sold diesel cars in Maine that were outfitted with software that allowed them to pass emissions tests, even though once back on the road their tailpipes belched harmful nitrogen oxides at levels far above the legal limit.

Mills says some 3,500 of the doctored cars were sold in Maine, defeating Maine’s emission control inspections.

“And polluted our air. And they were sold in the state of Maine to people with good intentions, who wanted to be good public citizens and doing something for the benefit of the planet, of the environment, and they were deceived,” she says.

The state allows civil penalties of as much as $10,000 per day per violation.

Mills says she expects VW to negotiate a settlement with Maine and several other states that have filed similar suits. The company has already agreed to provide the states nearly $3 billion to fund environmental projects and another $2 billion for zero-emission vehicle initiatives.

Maine is in line to benefit from those allotments, as well as another settlement that provided more than $1 million to the attorney general’s consumer protection fund.

A VW spokeswoman says the company will review Maine’s new complaint and “respond appropriately.”