A bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from at least 30 states and the District of Columbia are organizing a fast-moving investigation into the possibilities of consumer fraud and environmental violations by the German automaker Volkswagen.
At least two of the attorneys general, from New York and Illinois, have served subpoenas on the company, according to people briefed on the inquiry who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss a continuing investigation.
The multistate inquiry is taking shape at an unusually fast pace after last week’s announcement by VW that it had installed software in 11 million diesel cars that was designed to trick emissions testers, making it appear that the vehicles met pollution standards.
VW has admitted that it intended to deceive regulators.
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“From the standpoint of an investigator, this case is like arriving at a buffet table that has everything spread out, and it’s just a question of choosing which course to taste first,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat and former state attorney general from Connecticut.
Missouri is among the states participating in the investigation.
A spokesman for VW, John Schilling, said, “I cannot comment on pending or active litigation.”