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Blumenthal says VW should face maximum $18 billion fine

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HARTFORD — Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal says Volkswagen should face a maximum federal fine of $18 billion after the German automaker admitted it installed software designed to manipulate diesel engine exhaust emissions.

The Democrat said Monday that Volkswagen “needs to come clean with consumers” like Drew Mizak, a teacher from Plainfield who bought a 2014 Passat believing it was an environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient car.

“My wife told me, hey did you see on the news they’re talking about this huge issue of Volkswagen?  I honestly thought it was a joke,” said Mizak, “I didn’t think it was real because we thought Volkswagen had earned our trust.”

He’s one of an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 owners of affected diesel Volkswagens in Connecticut. Mizak has sued the automaker as part of a class-action suit.

“We honestly feel betrayed in this,” said Mizak.

Blumenthal said Volkswagen should offer customers who bought an affected vehicle the option to sell the car to the auto company for the full value. He said the company’s offer to fix the cars within the next two or three years is “completely unacceptable.”