As GM Authority reported back in September 2021, a lawsuit had been filed against General Motors over the suspicion of an emissions defeat device in diesel-powered Chevy Cruze units. Now, after eight years of deliberation, the case has been dismissed.
According to a report from Car Complaints, the plaintiffs alleged that The General installed emissions defeat devices in select 2014 and 2015 Chevy Cruze models in an attempt to dupe consumers into buying what was perceived to be a clean vehicle. However, Judge Thomas L. Ludington found no evidence defeat devices in the diesel-powered Cruze examples.
“Allowing plaintiffs and juries to override these judgments could give rise to a shadow regulatory system – one led by lawyers and experts, rather than by Congress and the EPA,” Judge Ludington said in a prepared statement. “Plaintiffs’ claims would overstep the EPA’s powers to penalize and to prevent fraud. In sum, the state-law claims that Plaintiffs have advanced here are preempted by the Clean Air Act.”
In his deliberation, Judge Ludington explained how the federal government is responsible for handling emissions issues, not lawyers, juries or experts:
- The EPA accepted testing information and published estimates based on that data. Thus, the plaintiffs’ are challenging the EPA.
- By allowing juries to challenge EPA estimates, they would be able to rebalance EPA objectives.
- The EPA has the power to reject or approve emissions figures to deter fraud.
- State-by-state claims would skew the automakers’ testing reports for the EPA.
It’s worth noting that this entire debacle originated from the fallout of the massive Volkswagen emissions scandal, where the German-based automaker installed delete devices in diesel vehicles in order to cheat emissions testing. Following the VW verdict, attorneys across the U.S. began filing claims and lawsuits that several major automakers were cheating the EPA, and that their vehicles were emitting more pollutants than EPA testing revealed.