Volkswagen AG is being sued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for falsely advertising its diesel engines as clean when they were actually spewing excess pollution into the atmosphere.

The suit was filed at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, claiming that “billions of dollars” in injuries have been the result of this deception. USA Today Business reporter Nathan Bomey says the FTC is seeking more than $15 billion in total.

The FTC wants a court order telling Volkswagen to pay back customers who purchased affected diesel vehicles and an injunction that will stop this from happening again in the future.

VW ran advertisements for many years referring to its diesel vehicles as “clean diesels,” which turned out to be fit with a defeat device to trick emissions testers while the engine would emit pollution levels up to 40 times over the legal limits while driving on public roads.

This is now just another in a crush of lawsuits faced by Volkswagen, including the U.S. Justice Department suit which is seeking $46 billion for breaking environmental laws. Over 500 civil lawsuits have also been filed against VW.

A fix for over 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S. has still not been devised by VW, with a federal judge extending a deadline to April 21 for when VW has to have a plan to fix its polluting diesels.

A Volkswagen spokeswoman told Automotive News that VW is cooperating fully with the FTC and all U.S. regulators, though the company’s first priority “is to find a solution to the diesel emissions matter,” said Jeannine Ginivan.

“For years Volkswagen’s ads touted the company’s ‘Clean Diesel’ cars even though it now appears Volkswagen rigged the cars with devices designed to defeat emissions tests,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

Automotive News

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