In early 2016 a series of lawsuits were filed againt Volkswagen after the automaker admitted to using devices to manipulate performance in emissions tests. The lawsuits allege Volkswagen knowingly rigged diesel vehicles to pass U.S. emissions road tests. The device used allowed the vehicles to beat the test, but in reality toxic tailpipe emissions on the vehicles were as much as 40 times the legal limit.
While Volkswagen was employing these devices to beat emissions tests, it was also falsely advertising "clean diesel" technology, allowing it to grab a large share of the market in sales. The Plaintiffs allege Volkswagen committed fraud and engaged in a conspiracy with its supplier, Robert Bosch, and its Porshe division.
Volkswagen separately faces potential U.S. regulatory fines of up to $46 billion and is under criminal investigation in Germany and elsewhere.