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What states’ suit against VW means for corporate officer liability

Tom Fox | August 1, 2016

Three states, led by New York, have filed slawuits against Volkswagen, alleging the company engaged in a lengthy campaign to design and install defeat devices in various models of cars manufactured by the company. The suit maintains that the campaign began as early as 2004—and, for the first time, named VW CEO Matthias Müller as not only having knowledge of the program but being party to the discussions that eventually led to the development and implementation of the defeat device.

The lawsuit claims that there was a “willful and systematic scheme of cheating” at VW, according to the New York Times. It also “identified six different defeat devices created and implemented over the years.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, “The idea that this level of fraud could take place and involve so many people at such high...

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