The DOJ argues that Detroit is a prime location because the trial would be near government labs in Ann Arbor, MI, and a VW engineering center in Auburn Hills, MI. The federal investigators also made additional arguments for the site, but the litigation panel sealed those documents, according to Reuters.
VW would like to separate the cases against it into two groups in an ideal result. The trial in Detroit would be for lawsuits from owners, which cover the vast majority of the complaints. The other legal action would combine five disputes from investors like pension funds, and VW would prefer that to happen in district court in Alexandria, VA. However, the litigation panel might not follow this suggestion.
Law firms started filing class-action suits within weeks of the Environmental Protection Agency's first violation notice against VW's diesel engines. The automaker has fought to keep those cases from going to district court in California because of the possibility of high judgments there. If judges in Michigan or Virginia hear the trials, there might also be quicker resolutions because of lower caseloads.