To: Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, Matthias Müller, CEO, Volkswagen, President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Demand Real Penalties for Volkswagen

The EPA says Volkswagen designed some 482,000 "clean" diesel cars to get away with violating the law. They built elaborate software — called a "defeat device" — to turn on emission controls during testing and turn them off during regular driving. And when they were caught, they denied it as long as they could.

VW not only admits it broke the law. They ripped off hundreds of thousands of consumers who thought they were buying clean vehicles. And they put our health at risk — emitting as much as 40 times the legal limit of smog-forming pollutants.

We're calling for:

1. Volkswagen to offer to buy back their new diesel car: VW cheated customers in selling them a product that was different than advertised. They should offer to buy the product back.

2. The EPA to demand tough penalties: For VW’s violation, the law calls for penalties up to $37,500 per car — or $18 billion total.

3. Congress to put an end to the auto company’s "get out of jail free" loophole: Auto industry lobbyists have won and defended a loophole in the law that makes it harder to prosecute their executives for intentionally violating the law and putting the public at risk. It’s time to close that loophole.

4. Department of Justice, no tax writeoffs for wrongdoing: We’ve fought against tax writeoffs for JP Morgan, BP and other companies when they were forced to pay penalties for violations of our laws. We’ll keep fighting to end these writeoffs for VW, GM and other companies.

Why is this important?

It turns out the company that brought us the Beetle, the flower-powered microbus and “Fahrvergnügen" is also a cheater.

The good news: The EPA and other government officials acted quickly to investigate and order a recall, and VW has agreed to stop selling new diesel car.

But are you thinking what I’m thinking? Didn’t GM just get away with what critics called a slap on the wrist for hiding a fatal ignition-switch defect linked to at least 174 deaths? The company faces no criminal charges and will pay a $900 million fine — out of $156 billion in revenue last year alone — and that's after we bailed out GM with $50 billion in taxpayer funds.

This must change. Tell Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and Congress to hold Volkswagen accountable for threatening our health and safety.

If you want VW, GM and other major corporations held accountable when they break the law and endanger the public’s health and safety, please sign this petition.

Our friend and ally Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety has a saying about GM: “There’s no problem too big that money can’t solve.” It’s time to stop letting big corporations buy their way out of accountability. Let’s stand up to these powerful interests and fight for our health and safety.

NOTE: Facing public pressure, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn's recently resigned. So we will be delivering this petition to Volkswagen headquarters in Herndon, VA.

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