Jamaica Gleaner / SEATTLE :
Washington state regulators have fined Volkswagen US$176 million, saying the automaker put people’s health at risk by releasing harmful air pollutants in its emissions cheating scandal.
The Department of Ecology said on Thursday that the company violated state clean air laws when it installed illegal software on many of its diesel vehicles to trick emissions tests.
The department says Volkswagen vehicles emitted up to 40 times the allowable amount of harmful nitrogen oxides while being driven. The agency said it based its fine on violations per vehicle, and the penalty holds Volkswagen accountable for environmental damage from more than 21,000 vehicles registered in Washington.
Volkswagen said in a statement on Thursday that it is working with Federal and state agencies on a national resolution for the remaining environmental issues. It said “it is regrettable that some states have decided to pursue environmental claims now”, after supporting that process.