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VW emissions-cheat claims reach back further in new lawsuits

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New York - Volkswagen’s diesel cheating went on for far longer than the company has acknowledged, state officials in the US alleged as they sought to add billions of dollars to the car maker’s tab for the scandal.

After the first known instance of the company rigging diesel engines with software to cheat emissions tests in 1999, VW spent much of the next decade perfecting its so-called defeat devices for use in Europe and then the US, the attorneys general for New York, Maryland and Massachusetts said.

Former VW chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn and other top company executives developed six generations of defeat devices to beat pollution-control tests starting in Europe in 2004, the attorneys general said on Tuesday in lawsuits and press conferences.

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