OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's lawsuit against Volkswagen may be sent to a California federal court despite efforts to have it tried in the state.
Oklahoma's attorney general filed a lawsuit against the German car manufacturer in local district court, saying the company designed "clean diesel" engines with a mechanism to alter their fuel efficiency during emissions testing. As a result, authorities say, vehicles with this engine operated far above their tested emissions levels on normal roadways.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt argued that Oklahoma was the best place for the lawsuit because the company violated state law.
A district judge determined that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will decide whether Oklahoma's lawsuit should be handled with other lawsuits from across the county in a California court since the lawsuits have similar issues, The Journal Record reports.
The judicial panel is scheduled to hear Oklahoma's arguments to keep the lawsuit in the state later this month.
Environmental Protection Agency officials had warned about several violations in September. A criminal investigation is pending.
The state is seeking $7.71 million in penalties for the 3,855 affected vehicles registered in the state and another $10,000 per violation of state law. Oklahoma is also seeking reimbursement for research and investigation fees, and attorney fees.