Volkswagen has been ordered to stand trial in Arizona for selling diesel vehicles that produced more emissions than legally allowed.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner said violations involving federal emission standards can only be handled in federal court, but the case in Arizona is over deceiving residents to buy vehicles that do not perform as advertised. That claim, he ruled, falls under Arizona's Consumer Fraud Act.
The company's lawyers said the auto manufacturer did not deliberately target Arizona consumers.
“A company that advertises with the purpose of selling its products to Arizona consumers has made purposeful contacts with Arizona, even if it also made purposeful contacts with the other 49 states,’’ Warner said in a written ruling. “To hold otherwise would mean no state has jurisdiction over deceptive nationwide marketing campaigns.’’
The case involves sales of vehicles with special engines that were promoted as having far fewer emissions than similar cars. These vehicles cost up to $7,000 more than comparable cars. The affected vehicles were sold from 2008 to 2015, and were designed to show low emissions when being tested specifically for emissions. They would then return to their standard high-power modes during regular driving conditions, emitting more than the allowable amount of pollutants.
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