The United States Justice Department on Monday filed a lawsuit against carmaker Volkswagen on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency. Penalties in the suit could extend into several billions for Volkswagen, after the carmaker allegedly violated the US Clean Air Act by installing devices in diesel cars that impaired emission control systems. The emission-cheating technology was installed in around 11 million diesel cars across the world.

The US government, in a 31-page complaint, also said that efforts to investigate the issue were “impeded and obstructed by material omissions and misleading information provided by VW”, AFP reported. The US is seeking penalties per car and per engine, which could add up to more than $20 billion. The Justice Department has also been investigating criminal fraud allegations against Volkswagen for misleading US consumers and regulators, Reuters reported. Volkswagen said they were reviewing the suit.