The Tel Aviv District State Attorney has filed a suit for more than NIS 500 million damages on behalf of the State of Israel against German car manufacturers Volkswagen and Audi and their Israeli importer Champion Motors. According to the lawsuit filed in the Tel Aviv District Court, Volkswagen and Audi cars were imported into Israel between 2008 and 2016 with EA189 engines in which a fraudulent program was installed to fake gas emission data from the diesel engines. According to the declaration by the importer, 12,000 such cars were imported by Israel.
According to the Tel Aviv State Attorney, the fraudulent program was designed to deceive regulatory authorities in Israel and worldwide by presenting fake gas emission data that ostensibly met the required standards. "If not for the low emission data," the suit says, "the vehicles would not have received the required approval, although they apparently met the maximum emission restrictions, set by the standard, and they would not have been brought within the borders of the State of Israel."
The State accuses the companies of causing thousands of tons of excessive polluting emissions of nitrogen oxides, and charges that through their actions, they harmed Israeli policy of decreasing polluting emissions by investing major resources of the public's money aimed at improving the environment, preventing illness and death and harm to the health of the public.
The suit says that, "The value of the damage following the excessive polluting emissions was no less than a total of NIS 403,442,553." In addition the Stare is demanding punitive damages of NIS 120 million.
Champion Motors has declined to comment on the suit.
The suit refers to the affair, which became known as 'Dieselgate' after in September 2015 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uncovered a scandal proving that Volkswagen had installed software to fake emission data from diesel engines.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 6, 2020
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