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Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California

Oversight & Government Reform Democrats Call On Chairman Chaffetz to Convene VW Hearing

October 5, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Representative Mark DeSaulnier led a letter signed by Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman and Brendan Boyle, all freshman members of the Transportation and Public Assets Subcommittee, calling on Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to convene a hearing on the implications and consequences of Volkswagen’s actions for American consumers and, to identify potential policy solutions for federal agencies to prevent similar egregious actions from occurring again.

“Clearly, there appears to be a growing and pervasive disregard for consumer safety, public health, and environmental protections by some within the auto industry. By convening a hearing on the implications of deceptive practices within the auto industry, the Committee can thoughtfully consider the negative consequences for U.S. taxpayers, auto workers, and federal regulatory agencies, and determine if adequate protections are in place to minimize or eliminate future occurrences,” the Members wrote. A copy of the letter can be found here.  

“As former Chair of the Transportation Committee in the California State Senate and a member of the California Air Resources Board, I am deeply concerned about the blatant and pervasive disregard for environmental protections, consumer safety, and public health in the automaker industry. Individual bad actors must be held accountable to disincentivize corporate wrongdoing, and we must fully comprehend the role of federal agencies in regulating these companies,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11).

“There’s no excuse for misleading and outright deceiving American consumers. We need to understand what happened here, and whether actions like these have become a trend within the auto industry that requires additional action at the federal level. Consumer safety, environmental stewardship, and the wellbeing of our communities are vital. Our committee can and should play an important role in safeguarding these priorities,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

“It is shocking and completely disheartening that VW has apparently been rigging vehicles for years to avoid negative emission test standards,” said Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-13). “The American public needs answers as to how this gross violation of trust was allowed to happen, how we will hold VW accountable, and how we will prevent this from happening again. The best way to do that is to have VW executives come before our committee and answer our questions in person.”

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