Skip to content

Supreme Court Rejects Volkswagen Appeals on Potential Emissions Cheating Liability

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from automaker Volkswagen related to their potential emissions cheating scandal. This means that the case will go back to lower courts to determine whether or not Volkswagen is liable, and to what extent they will be held responsible.

Volkswagen made headlines earlier this year with news that the automaker had installed "defeat devices" in almost 600,000 new vehicles sold in the United States over several years. These devices prevented emissions control systems from working and led to an excess level of emissions of nitrogen oxides.

The case, which was filed by the state of Ohio and two other localities, argues that Volkswagen is responsible for additional fines due to a violation of state and local anti-tampering laws for post-sale updates that the manufacturer made to vehicles that made the defeat devices more effective.

Industry groups, including the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, warned the Supreme Court that hearing this case could cause a confusing and chaotic atmosphere for other manufacturers that regularly install software updates to vehicles post-sale.

If Volkswagen is found liable, they are eligible to be fined up to $127 billion per year for vehicles sold in Ohio. To read more about this case, click here.