The European Commission is examining whether Volkswagen has offered a satisfactory service to customers affected by the Dieselgate emissions scandal.
According to reports on Reuters, regulators are speaking to consumer groups today to better understand what processes they’re undertaking in the pursuit of compensation.
The move comes after European consumer commissioner Vera Jourova revealed that the European Union was assessing whether VW had breached two laws that apply across the region.
The first, the Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, bans companies from providing inaccurate and exaggerated environmental figures. The second, the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, makes providing untruthful information to customers illegal.
Feedback from consumer groups and individual national authorities concluded that Volkswagen had not given consumers enough information, but VW responded by rejecting the allegations.
"It is not my intention to come with strong action without fair communication with the company," said Jourova. "I want them to look at the valid legislation and see what they have to do."
Although the consumer commissioner’s case relates to the EU as a whole, the European government has encouraged each individual country to chase compensation for its citizens independently from one another.
The UK government's long-standing position is that VW should compensate affected customers, and in a select committee meeting in July, MPs urged the UK government to prosecute VW. But so far this hasn’t been followed up with any hard action and VW maintains its opinion that US-style compensation would not be relevant in Europe, where 8.5 million cars are affected.
CEO Matthias Müller told Autocar earlier this year: "The overall situation differs between European countries and between the US and Europe. For instance, when we compare Europe with the US, a complete carry-over of what is under discussion in the US to the other parts of the world will not happen."
However, if VW is found to have breached one of these two directives, its no-compensation case might be seriously weakened.