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U.S. judge narrows SEC lawsuit against VW over diesel emissions

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(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Thursday dismissed portions of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) related to the German automaker’s diesel emissions scandal.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco granted the automaker’s dismissal motion, apart from its request to strike the SEC’s effort to obtain injunctive relief and disgorgement.

The judge also rejected former VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn’s motion to dismiss SEC claims against him.

VW had been caught using illegal software to cheat U.S. pollution tests of its vehicles in 2015, triggering a global backlash that has cost the company more than 29 billion euros ($34.4 billion).

Regulators and investors have argued that VW should have informed them sooner about the breadth of the scandal, while the automaker has said it had not realized how steep the financial fallout would be.

In its March 2019 lawsuit, the SEC accused VW of issuing more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities between April 2014 and May 2015 when executives knew more than 500,000 U.S. diesel vehicles had grossly excessive emissions.

The SEC and VW had no immediate comment. A lawyer for Winterkorn declined to comment.

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