New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
September 27, 2021

Contact:
Kate Giaquinto, Director of Communications
kate.giaquinto@doj.nh.gov | 603-573-6103

Volkswagen Agrees to Environmental Penalty for Use of “Defeat Devices”

Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella announces a settlement agreement with Volkswagen Group of America and other related companies (the defendants) for their use of “defeat devices,” that resulted in excess emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx).

The New Hampshire Air Pollution Control Act prohibits anyone from tampering with an emission control device on a vehicle. The defendants installed software in certain diesel vehicles that turned off emissions controls. At times, this resulted in NOx emissions estimated to be more than 30 times the allowed limit.

The terms of the settlement require the defendants to pay the State of New Hampshire a total of $1.15 million. In addition, the defendants will install one additional direct current fast charging station in the State in addition to the five charging stations that the defendants had already installed or planned to install.

This settlement resolves the last case between the defendants and the State related to “defeat devices” that were discovered in 2015. The defendants previously paid approximately $204 million to the State in the form of an environmental trust fund, civil penalties for violations of consumer protection laws, and relief to vehicle owners and dealers.

This is the first time that a state that has not adopted California’s air emissions standards has received settlement money under state air pollution laws related to a “defeat device” installed by a manufacturer.

Senior Assistant Attorney General K. Allen Brooks, chief of the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau, led efforts on behalf of the State of New Hampshire in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658