A former employee has sued Volkswagen alleging it deleted documents and obstructed justice after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accused the company of cheating on emissions tests. The whistleblower, Daniel Donovan, says in a lawsuit that he was wrongfully fired December 6, 2015, after refusing to participate in the deletions and reporting them to a supervisor. The suit by Donovan notes that evidence deletion continued for three days after the September 18th allegations from the EPA and despite a hold order from the justice department.
VW has admitted that it programmed about 600,000 diesel-powered cars in the U.S. to turn on pollution controls during EPA treadmill tests and turn them off when the cars were on the road.
The EPA alleges that the cars emit as much as 40 times the allowable amount of nitrogen oxide, which can cause respiratory problems.