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Volkswagen to pay over $157M to 10 U.S. states over diesel emissions scandal

In this Oct. 5, 2015, file photo, the VW sign of Germany's Volkswagen car company is displayed at the building of a company's retailer in Berlin.
In this Oct. 5, 2015, file photo, the VW sign of Germany's Volkswagen car company is displayed at the building of a company's retailer in Berlin. AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

DETROIT – Volkswagen is paying more than $157 million to 10 states to settle environmental lawsuits over the company’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal.

The company says the money will go to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. All 10 states follow California’s clean air standards.

The settlement covers 3-Liter six-cylinder diesel engines and is separate from a $603 million agreement reached last year with 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that covered 2-litre engines.

READ MORE: Volkswagen pleads guilty to conspiracy, obstruction of justice in emissions scandal

Thursday’s settlement is the first time the 10 states have won penalties from an automaker under their own emissions laws, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday in a statement.

Setting that precedent is important now because President Donald Trump has proposed budget cuts for federal environmental enforcement “which would leave states like New York and California as the first line of defence for the environment,” the statement said.

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Volkswagen has admitted to programming its diesel engines to activate pollution controls during government treadmill tests and turning them off for roadway driving.

VW has paid out more than $20 billion to buy back or repair cars and pay criminal and civil fines and legal settlements related to the scandal.

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