[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) issued the following statement today after a federal judge in Detroit ordered Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty for cheating on diesel emissions tests.

“Following a years-long campaign of deception and pollution, it is only fair that Volkswagen will now pay the largest fine ever for an automaker,” Blumenthal and Markey said. “Today’s ruling brings the total costs Volkswagen will incur to nearly $30 billion. These steep fines are a critical first step toward justice for consumers, but we must also hold executives accountable. The Department of Justice should continue to vigorously pursue its criminal investigation against VW executives who knowingly and intentionally misled regulators, polluted our air, threatened people’s health and deceived consumers.”


Last year, Markey and Blumenthal and U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced the Compensating Losses to the Environment from Automobiles with Noxious Undisclosed Pollution (CLEAN-UP) Act, legislation that would deny Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) credits to any auto manufacturer that circumvents emissions control requirements and would use monies collected from automakers that violate the law to be made available to programs that restore and improve air quality. The Senators also urged VW to ensure that owners of VW vehicles containing emission defeat devices are offered multiple options for adequate compensation for the damages and inconveniences incurred on them by the company’s deception.