PORTLAND, Maine — Attorneys from Portland-based law firm Verrill Dana have filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Maine against car maker Volkswagen, estimating that more than 1,000 of its cars with deceptive emissions software are registered in the state.

The lawsuit comes as plaintiffs in other states have filed similar lawsuits in federal court. The world’s best-selling carmaker also could face lawsuits from investors and auto dealers in connection with the emissions system scandal.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that several of the automaker’s diesel-engine cars had software that duped emissions testing systems and emitted as much as 40 times the legal limit of carbon dioxide once on the road.

The lawsuit in Maine was filed on behalf of two plaintiffs, Sean Mahoney of Falmouth and Ayres Stockley of Cumberland. It is the first filed in Maine against Volkswagen.

The suit seeks class certification for all affected Maine car owners, restitution and attorney fees for allegations, including three counts of violating Maine consumer protection law, a count of fraudulent concealment and breach of contract.

The lawsuit estimates there are “well in excess” of 1,000 affected vehicles in the state.

The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal includes 11 million vehicles worldwide. The company has confirmed EPA charges that it installed “defeat devices” in versions of its 2009-2015 Jetta, Beetle, Golf, Passat and Audi A3 passenger cars fitted with 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engines.

Federal and state regulators said the German automaker used software in 482,000 of its diesel vehicles since the 2009 model year to cheat on U.S. emissions tests.

The Maine attorney general’s office on Thursday joined an investigation by at least 29 other states and the federal government into the VW emissions scandal, which led to the resignation of the company’s CEO, Martin Winterkorn, on Wednesday.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.