VW argues payouts aren't necessary due to agreements for a solution; this has been met by increasing pressure from the EU's industry commissioner
22 January 2016

Volkswagen has confirmed that it will not be offering compensation to disgruntled European customers, despite ongoing pressure from the European Union.

Just last week, EU industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska wrote to VW CEO Matthias Mueller demanding owners of affected vehicles should be compensated.

VW responded in a statement on Thursday, saying: "We are concentrating in Europe on the repair and service process. The situation in the USA and Canada is not automatically comparable with other markets in the world, therefore this action cannot simply be rolled out in other markets".

The European Commission has already said that it believes Bienkowska's requests are justified, stating: "She repeated her clear view that EU consumers should be treated in the same way as US customers. Mr Mueller agreed to come back to the Commissioner on the points discussed."

Earlier this month, UK boss Paul Willis faced similar pressure from British MPs when he appeared before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. He refuted claims that VW UK should offer payouts to customers of affected vehicles, arguing that it wasn't necessary because unlike in the US, "we have a solution here".

In a statement made on the committee's website, Louise Ellman MP highlighted VW's contrasting statements in the US and Europe, stating: "Volkswagen is disputing that the software installed in affected vehicles constitutes a defeat device in the EU, despite conceding that the same software constitutes a defeat device in the United States. The German motoring authority, the KBA, has declared that in its legal opinion Volkswagen did use a defeat device to pass type approval emissions tests in Europe."

The committee has also published a letter sent to Ellmann by Willis, in which he states that Volkswagen will not be providing compensation to UK owners at present, as the company believes those funds are better used to back its technical fixes. "We think that, with the fix just around the corner, the sums available for such a goodwill payment should be spent on maximising the uptake of the technical measures among customers," says Willis.

Willis also says that VW "does not believe it is necessary" to provide compensation to UK owners, as no customer will pay higher tax rates as a result of the CO2 scandal. In Willis' letter, the point is also raised that the goodwill package offered to customers in the US does not constitute compensation.

Autocar editoral director Jim Holder appeared in front of the Transport Select Committee earlier this month to provide evidence as part of the investigation. Read his blog on the experience here.

Darren Moss and Sam Sheehan

Our Verdict

Seventh generation Volkswagen Golf
More than 29 million Golfs have been sold since 1974

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf, Europe's best selling car that's now in its seventh generation?

Join the debate

Comments
39

12 January 2016

"Willis also says that VW "does not believe it is necessary" to provide compensation to UK owners, as no customer will pay higher tax rates as a result of the CO2 scandal. In Willis' letter, the point is also raised that the goodwill package offered to customers in the US does not constitute compensation"

How has this gone from USA NOx scandal to Co2 in Europe ?
I thought the issue wa NOx, being 30-40 times the rate in real life compared with during tests. Are they deflecting the issue ?

12 January 2016

Nice to know that UK customers are considered second class citizens. That's fine, plenty more options on my next company car list. We do not need VW Group products in this country. I would rather spend money with a firm that at least respects it's customers

12 January 2016

Nice to know that UK customers are considered second class citizens. That's fine, plenty more options on my next company car list. We do not need VW Group products in this country. I would rather spend money with a firm that at least respects it's customers

12 January 2016

Nice to know that UK customers are considered second class citizens. That's fine, plenty more options on my next company car list. We do not need VW Group products in this country. I would rather spend money with a firm that at least respects it's customers

12 January 2016

Nice to know that UK customers are considered second class citizens. That's fine, plenty more options on my next company car list. We do not need VW Group products in this country. I would rather spend money with a firm that at least respects it's customers

12 January 2016

Nice to know that UK customers are considered second class citizens. That's fine, plenty more options on my next company car list. We do not need VW Group products in this country. I would rather spend money with a firm that at least respects it's customers

12 January 2016

Sticky keyboard

13 January 2016

Sticky keyboard, yuck...

12 January 2016

Agree with the comments treat the Ukas second or third class inspite of us paying more than the USa for their cars.After owning one of their products for 3 years and putting up with some lousy design errors and questionable quality never mind economy 355 advers to their published figures will never buy VW/Audi again think JLR and BMW to be far better.
They need to give the £600 compensation to each customer to save grace just a touch.
People should vote with their cheque bookat the end of the day.noticed that they are giving large discounts away to sell the cars ,this will be eventually reflexcted in far worse residuals, you have been warned.

13 January 2016
Ski Kid wrote:

Agree with the comments treat the Ukas second or third class inspite of us paying more than the USa for their cars.After owning one of their products for 3 years and putting up with some lousy design errors and questionable quality never mind economy 355 advers to their published figures will never buy VW/Audi again think JLR and BMW to be far better.
They need to give the £600 compensation to each customer to save grace just a touch.
People should vote with their cheque bookat the end of the day.noticed that they are giving large discounts away to sell the cars ,this will be eventually reflexcted in far worse residuals, you have been warned.

Whilst it appears that VW broke the EU laws with using a "cheat device" owners of the affected cars have lost nothing that I can see. VW has so far told us that the "fix" will not increase fuel consumption so will not alter Co2 emissions so no excise duty has been evaded by the "cheat device".
As for compensation why should VW pay owners anything unless they have actually lost out through VW's action? Only time will tell if the residual values of VW cars falls, the same goes for their sales. If you want to look for someone to blame as to why your car does not match, in real world driving, the published fuel consumption figures VW like al the others has to use the test procedure laid down in law by the EU which bears no relationship with normal driving conditions.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run