By Seth Thomas, Ice Miller LLP
Volkswagen is embroiled in a scandal regarding the "manipulation of emissions data of diesel engines." News reports indicate that it has hired Kirkland & Ellis to assist it in responding to these claims. German prosecutors are investigating the former Volkswagen CEO, and the U.S. Justice Department is also investigating the company. Other state attorney generals and foreign government agencies have joined in their own inquiries. The company has said that it has immediately suspended some employees in the wake of the investigation.
It is alleged that Volkswagen deceived regulators by lowering emissions on its 2009-2015 Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles by using "defeat" devices. Some 482 thousand vehicles sold in the United States and 11 million cars sold worldwide are impacted by the scandal. Volkswagen's board has already issued a statement, which states: "There is absolutely no excuse for the manipulations which have deeply shocked Volkswagen. The company will leave no stone unturned in getting to the bottom of this, will call those responsible to account, and take the necessary actions." Class action lawsuits have already begun to be filed, and one firm has promised that it expects a class representative for these suits from every state.
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