The European Commission and national consumer authorities in the EU criticized Volkswagen on Tuesday for failing to guarantee that repairs after the Dieselgate scandal would not affect cars’ performance.
The EU Commission published today the conclusions on the 8.5 million car recalls made in the Union by the Volkswagen group after the scandal. The VW Group’s effort to build trust in the recalls and the significant improvement in the information provided to consumers, are welcomed. The rate of repair is now reaching 80% and the Group committed to continue the free-of-charge update and the related de facto guarantee to solve problems that arise after the update until the end of 2020. However, the Commission and the consumer authorities regret that the company could not give a full and clear guarantee in case of problems after the repair.
Vera Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, commented:
“We have worked hard to make VW more proactive with EU consumers affected by the dieselgate scandal. VW fulfilled the action plan they promised to me, but that was all. This is again a reminder of the need for stronger rules on individual redress in the EU, including collective actions.”
EU officials have pressured VW to do more to compensate European customers after it admitted to U.S. regulators in September 2015 that it had cheated on emissions tests there using software installed in as many as 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide – the majority of them in Europe.
Agencies from the EU’s 28 member states and the European Union executive reiterated concerns that the German auto giant has not done enough to respond to a request it improve consumer information on the repairs, speed up the process and pledge to fix any problems arising after the repair.
Actions taken by VW on the 8.5 million car recalls made in the bloc “so far resulted in positive developments,” the EU said in a statement. The repair rate has almost reached 80 percent of all affected cars in Europe, it said.
But it added that: “Volkswagen has not provided a full and clear guarantee that the update is not affecting the cars’ performance and has refused to simplify the conditions giving access to the Trust Building Measure.”
Pushing VW to admit wrongdoing, consumer protection authorities asked the carmaker “to make it clear that the use of that particular software was prohibited according to EU-law.”
“On the reason for the repair, Volkswagen is not clear enough,” they said.
Despite VW’s admission of harm to consumers in the United States, it says it has not broken the law in Europe and sees no need to offer similar compensation to consumers there.