Volkswagen could face penalties exceeding USD 90 billion, or as much as USD 37,500 per vehicle per violation of the law, media reports cited a senior Justice Department official as saying yesterday.

On behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice, filed the civil complaint yesterday in the federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against VW group, along with its Audi and Porsche units.

The complaint alleged that nearly 600,000 diesel engine vehicles sold by Volkswagen in the US market had illegal defeat devices installed that impair their emission control systems and cause emissions to exceed EPA's standards, resulting in harmful air pollution.

The illegal devices installed by Volkswagen can detect whether the vehicle is being tested in a lab or running on the road. During test process the device will activate a car's emission control system to pass the US emission test, but during normal daily driving it will not, which caused the car's real emission much higher than the US standard.

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