ALBANY, N.Y. - U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says the federal government should seek the maximum possible fine from Volkswagen and demand that the automaker give rebates to buyers following the recent scandal over emissions testing.

The New York Democrat calls the company's actions a "deceptive and massive fraud" among the worst in corporate history. He says he wants the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Justice Department to seek an $18 billion fine, the highest possible.

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He added that drivers who purchased the affected cars should receive a portion of the settlement amount as a rebate.

Schumer says such a high fine amount would send a "dramatic and strong" message that corporate deception won't be tolerated.