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A Texas County Just Sued VW for $100 Million Over Its Emissions Scandal

The “first” local government action against the carmaker surely won’t be the last.
The exhaust of a Volkswagen Passat shown in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 24, 2015.
The exhaust of a Volkswagen Passat shown in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 24, 2015.AP Photo/Michael Probst

Volkswagen is about to learn just what it means to mess with Texas. Harris County, home to Houston, is suing the car giant for more than $100 million in what officials are calling the “first” local government suit against VW following its emissions scandal. Here’s county attorney Vince Ryan, via a press release from his office:

The suit alleges that VW violated seven environmental-related health and safety codes by rigging its diesel cars to avoid emissions standards, including laws related to “unauthorized air emissions” and “anti-tampering” rules. Harris County is an EPA “non-attainment” zone for ozone emissions, a designation reserved for areas that don’t meet federal environmental standards. The NOx emissions produced by tampered VW diesels are known to contribute to ozone formation; from the petition: