EU commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska aims to take legal action against some EU states for not enforcing emissions legislation
Jimi Beckwith
19 September 2016

European Union member states will have legal action taken against them by the EU government, as commissioner Bienkowska aims to penalise countries deemed to have not effectively enforced emissions legislation.

A report from Reuters says that Bienkowska aims to take some EU states to task for exceeding the emissions limit set by the EU, but refused to disclose exactly which countries would be indicted.

The commissioner also added to the increasing pressure on Volkswagen to compensate its European customers in the same way that it will its American customers.

Volkswagen has so far held firmly to its initial decision to not offer the same compensation package to customers in the EU, claiming that a less invasive fix is required and thus, compensation is not necessary.

The UK government has been pressured by various MPs and committees to crack down on Volkswagen post-dieselgate, and has itself drawn criticism for its apparent lack of action, a year on from the scandal.

The BBC has also reported that only one in 10 affected Volkswagen Group cars have been recalled since the automotive giant began recall proceedings, sparking concern about the car maker’s speed of response to the scandal.

The UK is not expected to face legal action from the EU since no British-based car makers have been found to use emissions cheat devices. Two of the country's biggest car makers, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan, both proved their innocence during investigations following the Dieselgate scandal.

The UK will, however, likely be included in a Europe-wide call for tighter tests.

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Comments
6

19 September 2016
EU has not been able to penalise the one car maker that has been caught cheating on emissions. What's the chance of it punishing the state that shelters it?

19 September 2016
Except of course in the latest research Renault, Fiat and others pollute more. This is a pan-industry problem.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/19/many-car-brands-emit-more-pollution-than-volkswagen-report-finds

fadyady wrote:

EU has not been able to penalise the one car maker that has been caught cheating on emissions. What's the chance of it punishing the state that shelters it?

19 September 2016
Instead it is a totalitarian policy. Why is the EU seeking to punish the state in which a manufacturer (an independent legal entity from the state) evades the law? This is outrageous abuse of power. For example the Czech Republic is home to several VAG production facilities where cheat devices supplied by VAG were sent to be fitted to the cars produced there. The Czech Republic has no idea this was being done and thus could stop it. Where is the common sense in prosecuting the Czech Republic? The government has no idea what VAG are up to and very likely no way to stop it as the cheat devices will not be obviously illegal and the officials cannot carry out a meaningful inspection as the real malice is in the software. This is another example of the EU undermining the sovereignty of its member states. Of course the EU ought to prosecute VAG and obtain proper compensation for EU citizens who were cheated. The EU will not do this as it would make the Germans very angry and possibly bankrupt VAG. The Germans will be less inclined to bankroll the EU if that happened especially as the UK is leaving the EU. Instead of helping citizens as the EU leadership claimed they wanted to do at last week's summit in Bratislava once again they have shown contempt for ordinary people and sovereign states.

22 September 2016
Presumably the country that issued the Type Approval is at fault, not the country of assembly. If it can be proved that the Type Approval was issued to a car that did not meet it (which given the vagueness of parts of the EU regulations could be difficult to prove), then the official body that issued the approval could be punished.

19 September 2016
They've gotta milk all they can out of the UK before we leave.

When they get this cash, can they spend some on producing an emissions test that is actually relevent in Europe, please? And then use the rest of it to get Porsche to put a flat six in the Cayman again?

20 September 2016
I guess if a state is deemed to have broken EU law and is liable for a fine. The state can fine the company that must have broken the state law for the state to have broken the EU law. Is this a legal merry go round first to give lots of money to lawyers and a way to fine VW without the EU directly going after Germany.

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