The UK government must crack down on Volkswagen’s response time in the wake of the emissions scandal, a parliamentary committee has concluded in its latest report.
The Environmental Audit Committee has released a report that alleges the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling have failed UK VW owners “by letting slide the opportunity to investigate VW’s behaviour and, potentially, to take legal action.”
Pressure on the government
No legal action has been taken by the UK government yet in response to the emissions scandal, which first surfaced almost a year ago, on 18 September 2015, and the committee has expressed concern over that. As the anniversary of the scandal approaches, it seems frustration is mounting.
The report states that if there were sufficient proof that VW knowingly falsified information on registration documents, legal action may be taken by both the CMA on the grounds of "unfair commercial practices and misleading actions and omissions" and the SFO for fraud.
The Department for Transport responded to the committee’s enquiry, stating “we have been sharing with them [CMA and SFO] the information that we have so that we can understand and we continue to look very hard at what legal recourse options are available”.
In a statement accompanying the report, MP Mary Creagh, who is chair of the committee, said: "There's been a worrying inertia from ministers in tackling the VW scandal and they should decide whether to take legal action. They should ask the Vehicle Certification Agency to carry out tests to see whether, without the cheat devices, VW Group cars in the UK would have failed emissions tests."
It's not the first time the government has been called to act more decisively over the emissions scandal. The Transport Select Committee has previously urged the government to prosecute VW.