BUSINESS

In VW inquiry, states scrutinize ads to build case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — States suing Volkswagen are focusing on the car maker's advertisements dating back to the 2009 model year describing its vehicles as "clean diesel."

As part of their legal strategy, attorneys general say each ad that aired or was published represents a deceptive or misleading business practice. Each carries a fine of $5,000 or more.

Volkswagen's pitches described its diesel cars as good for the environment. They are at odds with the company acknowledging that it put stealth software in millions of vehicles worldwide to cheat on emissions tests. A Volkswagen spokeswoman declined to comment on the claims.

Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have joined to investigate Volkswagen. California, Texas and West Virginia are pursuing their own lawsuits. The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are also involved.