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Car and Driver: U.S. Seeks up to $48 Billion in Fines for VW Emissions Cheating

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-It’s been nearly four months since the news broke that Volkswagen had been cheating to get around diesel emissions standards, but the scandal is far from over. The federal government has filed suit against the German automaker, and today we learned that the Department of Justice is seeking up to $48 billion in penalties.

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Reuters reports that Volkswagen could face fines of as much as $37,500 per affected vehicle for each of two separate violations, $3750 for every “defeat device,” and an additional $37,500 for each day of violation. Those fines would have to be paid for the nearly 600,000 cars sold in the U.S. with the cheating software installed.

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This lawsuit isn’t unexpected, but as Reuters points out, Volkswagen will likely pay significantly less than that initial number. Toyota, for example, was sued by the U.S. government several years ago for $58 billion for violating certain environmental regulations, but ended up settling for only $34 million.

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But lawsuits aren’t the only problems Volkswagen faces: The automaker needs to come up with a fix for its 2.0-liter diesel engines here in the U.S., and the company reportedly is still struggling to find a solution.

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A mid-January deadline is coming up quickly, but partly due to the fact that additional parts will be required, coming up with an acceptable fix is proving to be more difficult than the company expected. The new part or parts need to be tested to ensure they work effectively, and that’s slowing down the process. Assuming the fix doesn’t use off-the-shelf parts, designing and beginning to produce those new parts is also going to take time.

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Hopefully Volkswagen can meet that mid-January deadline to propose an acceptable solution so owners can get a better idea of when their cars will be fixed.

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This story originally appeared on Road & Track.

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