VW ‘unfair’ for payout refusal

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MPs have accused Volkswagen of being “deeply unfair” for refusing to compensate owners of rigged diesels - including 20,554 people in Sheffield.

Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Louise Ellman, also said VW had acted cynically to cheat emissions tests aimed at protecting human health.

She added: “There is a real danger that VW will be able to get away with cheating emissions tests in Europe if regulators do not act.”

The committee described VW’s decision to compensate customers in the US but not the UK as “deeply unfair” and called on regulators to ensure owners are not left out of pocket by the company’s technical fixes.

The DVLA says there are 20,554 diesels with an ‘S’ (Sheffield) postcode fitted with ‘defeat devices’. VW has admitted selling 11m rigged diesels worldwide pumping out up to 40 times more noxious gas than tests suggest.

Last month VW agreed a $14.7bn deal with 500,000 US motorists who will receive up to $10,000 each,

Ms Ellman added: “Vehicle owners in the UK have been refused goodwill payments. That is despite VW inflicting a great deal of uncertainty on its own customers, along with the prospect of declining residual values and the inconvenience of having to undergo repairs.

“We are concerned that VW’s fix was developed at the lowest possible cost which might lead to increased costs for motorists down the line. We have called upon the Vehicle Certification Agency to do everything in its power to ensure that does not happen.”

VW argues there is no need to compensate UK customers as the technical fix for their vehicles so they meet pollution standards will not alter the performance of the cars.

A spokesman said: “There is no buy-back deal or compensation for drivers outside the US. That is because the relevant facts and complex legal issues that have played a role in coming to these agreements are materially different from those in Europe and other parts of the world.

“Regulations governing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions limits for vehicles in the United States are much stricter than those in other parts of the world and the engine variants also differ significantly. This makes the development of technical measures in the United States more challenging than in Europe and other parts of the world, where implementation of an approved program to modify TDI vehicles to comply fully with UN/ECE and European emissions standards has already begun by agreement with the relevant authorities.

“In Europe, Volkswagen has been able to agree with the authorities responsible for the issue of an action plan for the modification of the affected vehicles. The vehicles will fully comply with emission standards. Implementation of these measures has also already begun.”

Almost 50,000 vehicles in the UK have been fixed, he added.

Do you own an affected VW and live in Sheffield? Contact David Walsh on 0114 252 1307 or email: david.walsh@jpress.co.uk