By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – German-based Volkswagen Group has agreed to pay over $157 million to ten states, including Pennsylvania, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced on Thursday.

“This is a huge deal and a massive settlement.  It’s one of the largest environmental settlements in the history of Pennsylvania,” Shapiro told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

READ MORE: Activists Want Desk Duty For Reinstated Penn Hills Officer Under Investigation In Shooting Death

VW secretly installed software in over 500,000 diesel Audis, Porsches, and VW’s so they could pass state emission tests even though they were spewing nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere at up to 35 times the legal limit.

“VW cheated,” said Shapiro.

“Here’s what they did.  They basically tried to sell people cars and claim that they were good for the environment based on reduced emissions.  The reason they were reduced is because they had this switch installed in the car.  So they took a car that they said was good for the environment, and the exact opposite was true.”

Shapiro said 23,000 of these vehicles were sold in Pennsylvania, and VW will pay $30.4 million to the Commonwealth for environmental clean-up.

READ MORE: Pittsburgh Public Schools Student Writes, Releases Book

VW previously agreed to repair, replace, or buyback vehicles with the cheating devices — and will increase the number of zero emission vehicles, including battery electric cars, sold in the state.

Shapiro said, no matter the cutbacks in environmental enforcement by the Trump administration, he would enforce the law.

“Whether it’s lax oversight at the federal level or whether it’s a particular polluter here in the commonwealth, it’s my job to make sure our environment is protected, and I take that responsibility very seriously.”

Visit for more information about the buybacks.

MORE NEWS: One Person Hospitalized After SUV Crashes Into Tree In Lawrenceville

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter