The bill would cover the cost of the 80,000 Dieselgate-affected cars in London that escaped congestion charge payments due to their low-emissions classification, reports the BBC. Volkswagen says the cars qualified for a discount on the charge and that since no CO2 change has been measured, they still meet the criteria at the time.
The BBC also reported Khan as describing VW’s actions as “nothing short of a disgrace”; the famously outspoken London mayor has since introduced and proposed stringent fees and penalties for drivers of diesel cars since the scandal emerged, such as a Toxicity charge, due to be introduced in October.
Volkswagen emphasised that the cars were discounted due to their sub-100g/km status. No official CO2 figures on affected cars have been changed, so they did not qualify for the discount under a falsehood.
Volkswagen issued the following statement in reaction to Sadiq Khan’s suggestion: “Volkswagen is clear that all of its vehicles which were affected by the NOx issue, and which benefited from the Congestion Charge Greener Vehicle Discount, did so validly throughout the relevant period.”
Khan wrote to VW late last year, saying: “There is no excuse for the utter lack of action VW has taken in London since the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal came to light,” according to The Guardian.
He continued: “I want to see a proper commitment from them to fully compensate the thousands of Londoners who bought VW cars in good faith, but whose diesel engines are now contributing to London’s killer air.