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Business & Economy

Mulling criminal charges, fines, consumer torts against Volkswagen for smog-test cheat




In this file photo Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn attends the company's annual press conference on March 13, 2014 in Wolfsburg, Germany.
In this file photo Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn attends the company's annual press conference on March 13, 2014 in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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A class-action complaint has been filed against Volkswagen on behalf of drivers over its emissions scandal.

And there are unconfirmed reports that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into Volkswagen over its admission it installed "defeat devices" to fake nitrogen oxide emissions during smog tests on nearly half a million of its diesel cars.

If the investigation finds egregious wrongdoing, the redress is an open question. Could it lead simply to the payment of additional fines on top of the fines for violating the Clean Air Act, or could VW executives face jail time? How long will it take for consumers to pursue a legal remedy?​

Guests:

Laura Antonini, Attorney with Consumer Watchdog

Elaine Kusel, "Of Counsel" with McCune Wright is based in Redlands; Kusel represented consumers in the Hyundai fuel economy class action