(WTNH)–Volkswagen called them “clean diesel,” but now the company admits its cars are toxic to the environment. From the Jetta and Passat to the Golf and Beetle, VW installed a computer program that tricked the emissions test into thinking that they were clean.
“People were buying these vehicles specifically because they thought they were doing something good for the environment,” said Paul Farrell, the Deputy Director for Clean Air at DEEP. “It turns out, in fact, they weren’t.”
Consumer reports say there are about 4,000 of those “clean diesel” vehicles in Connecticut.
“When they’re operating on the road, their emissions are about 40 times higher than they should be. And that’s 40 times higher of a pollutant called ‘Knox,’ which is a contributor to ground-level o-zone,” Farrell said.
According to the Associated Press, the emissions put out by these “clean diesels” have enough Knox that they can kill between 5 and 20 people each year in America.
Many health experts say it’s like getting a sunburn on your lungs–it really presents a problem for people with pre-existing health conditions like COPD and asthma, and can trigger an asthma attack.
A school teacher in Plainfield is filing the first lawsuit against Volkswagen in Connecticut, and since then, dozens more have followed.
“They paid between $1,000 and $7,000 more than the conventional gas engine, so it is pretty upsetting. These cars are going to have a diminished resale value,” said attorney Cody Guarnieri.