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Image credit: Reuters/Darren Ornitz

FTC sues Volkswagen over false 'Clean Diesel' car ads

The fallout from VW's emissions cheating hasn't stopped.
Reuters/Darren Ornitz

Volkswagen's US legal woes aren't stopping with the lawsuit from the Justice Department. The Federal Trade Commission has filed its own lawsuit against the car maker, accusing it of deceiving customers by running a "Clean Diesel" ad campaign between 2008 and 2015 while it was cheating on emissions tests. Simply put, it was touting its diesel cars as eco-friendly when they were anything but -- the FTC notes that they cranked out up to 4,000 percent more nitrogen oxides than the legal limit.

The suit demands that VW not only practice truthful advertising, but compensate the drivers who it led astray. VW hasn't said exactly how it will respond to the FTC, but it's doubtful that the company will fight this to the bitter end -- the brand tells Reuters that it "continues to cooperate" with regulators. The question isn't so much about whether or not the FTC will win, but how much of a settlement it will have to offer to make the FTC happy. There were hundreds of thousands of Americans who bought the manufacturer's TDI-badged cars over that period, and giving each of them even a small amount of compensation could add up to a lot of money.

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