The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Volkswagen's television and print advertising campaign claiming diesels were better for the environment than gas-powered vehicles, according to Hybrid Cars. The FTC probe was spurred by a letter Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) sent to FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez asking the regulator to drop the hammer.

In short, the charge is false advertising, as VW and its Audi affiliate have long grouped some of its fleet under the "Clean Diesel" umbrella, which the FTC may find to be a misnomer. Nelson suggested VW be forced to run a counter-campaign of sorts as a "mea culpa," while others have approached the FTC saying it should be reimbursed for buying a more polluting car than what had been advertised.

The FTC is the latest group to probe VW since it was revealed last month as many as 11 million diesel vehicles contained software designed to cheat emissions-testing systems. Most recently, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) re-designated VW's fleet from being among the cleanest to, along with Chrysler, the dirtiest. VW's CEO stepped down last month, while the company said it would set aside $7.3 billion to address the issue.

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