BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland joins multiple states seeking penalties and repairs from Volkswagen, following a massive emissions cheating scandal. The automaker has admitted to rigging emissions tests for millions of its diesel models.

Tracey Leong explains the call for action.

Maryland’s Department of the Environment and governor want to hold Volkswagen accountable for polluting our air and bay.

Maryland is demanding that Volkswagen cleans up its act. The company rigged millions of its diesel cars to cheat on emissions test.

“The environment deserves justice, and we know that Volkswagen knowingly, willingly violated our clean car law,” said Ben Grumbles, Maryland Secretary of Environment.

Maryland is 1 of 12 states requiring the automaker to take corrective actions and pay the price for polluting our state.

“Up to 40 times more air pollution, more nitrogen oxide than our stringent laws would allow. And so we’re focused on air quality for the citizens and for the Chesapeake Bay,” said Grumbles.

It’s estimated 10,000 cars in Maryland are affected. Many drivers have already joined a class action lawsuit against the company.

“I think this was particularly egregious. I think this was intentional. This wasn’t, ‘Oops, we messed up.’ This was, ‘We intended to deceive,'” said Nicole Barnard, lead plaintiff.

Barnard bought her defective car in Maryland this past summer.

Lawsuits have been filed in states across the country. The company has apologized and now faces billions in lawsuits in fines.

“This is an intentional act by Volkswagen to make their vehicles be something other than what customers were paying for,” said Ryan Perlin, attorney.

Experts say since 2009, these rigged cars added nearly 700 tons of air pollution to Maryland–the equivalent of an extra 300,000 cars on our roads.

More than 1 million diesel cars worldwide have the illegal software. Recalls are expected to start in January.

For a full list of the affected Volkswagen models, CLICK HERE.

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