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Volkswagen asks U.S. court to undo ruling on local emissions claims

Volkswagen AG and a Robert Bosch LLC on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a lower-court ruling that said two counties could seek financial penalties due to excess diesel emissions that could total billions of dollars.

The German automaker’s U.S. unit and the German auto supplier asked the U.S. high court to reverse a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that said Utah’s Salt Lake County and Florida’s Hillsborough County could seek “staggering” damages over updates made to polluting diesel automobiles after they were sold.

Volkswagen Group of America informed the high court the appeals court “decision threatens to throw one of America’s largest industries into regulatory chaos, to the detriment of manufacturers, dealers, consumers, and the environment”.

On Tuesday, the Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the state’s lawsuit against the automaker over emissions damages from 14,000 Ohio-registered cars. Volkswagen said in court papers Ohio’s claims “could total $350 million per day, or over $127 billion per year, over a multi-year period”.

Ohio said VW engaged in “deceptive recalls” following the sales of the vehicles and it “seeks to hold Volkswagen responsible for modifying its customers’ cars — cars that the consumers had already purchased and used — to evade emissions laws.

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