VW have confirmed that they have “no plans” to compensate customers in Europe whose diesel cars are affected by the emissions rigging scandal.
It is widely known that VW has set aside £4.8bn to cover recall costs, but had not until now said there would be no compensation. This is despite VW choosing to compensate drivers in the US, who they claim have been affected under different market circumstances.
The consumer group Which? condemned the decision and called on the Government to take steps to force VW to treat British consumers in the same way as those in the US.
Its executive director, Richard Lloyds, said: “It is outrageous that Volkswagen is ruling out compensation for European customers even before the results of the official investigation. British consumers deserve better so we urge Volkswagen to reconsider and if they won’t, then the UK Government should urgently look at avenues for redress.”
The concerns were further echoed by the European consumer group BEUC, which accused Volkswagen of keeping customers in the dark about how they are tackling the problem. Monique Goyens, director general of The European Consumer Organisation, said: "European car drivers are no second-class consumers. It would be unacceptable that financial compensation would only be offered to US customers.”
VW chief executive Matthias Müller has said the company will deliver technical details on fixing cars fitted with emissions-rigging software to German regulators by the end of the month. Müller said most of the affected vehicles would not need major work. He said: “For about 90% of the group’s vehicles in Europe the solutions are confirmed. The cost for the retrofitting is technically, physically and financially manageable.”
It remains to be seen whether VW will actually be able to adequately rectify the problem and, or retreat from their current position and compensate customers affected.
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Asim Din is a solicitor in the dispute resolution team at Stephensons Solicitors LLP. He regularly advises consumers on their rights in respect of buying vehicles or items which have been found to be defective. If you require any advice in respect of a Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda or Seat you have purchased you should not hesitate to contact our specialist dispute resolution team on 01616 966 229.