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Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess has hit back at calls from the European Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová to pay compensation to European customers affected by the dieselgate emissions cheating scandal.
Jourová alleged again that VW broke EU consumer legislation with its emissions cheating, and said that it has failed to meet consumer demands by taking more than a year to fix the issues.
“VW needs to ensure that consumers are treated fairly on the issue,” she said.
However, Diess described Jourová's comments as “very hard to understand”, and stressed that VW was making good progress with enacting the fixes.
He said: "We are well underway with implementing what is effectively a 20-30 minute software fix, and we’ve had very few complaints.
“The expectations that we would do the same for customers in Europe as the US are unrealistic, because the situations are completely different. In the US the situation was more complicated: the fixes required two or three dealer visits, the fixes couldn’t guarantee we met all our guaranteed standards and as a result residual values were affected. None of that is the case here.
“All official organisations that have tested our fix have agreed that there is no effect on the cars in Europe."
VW reached a $10 billion settlement with customers in the US, but has said it won’t compensate the eight million European customers with affected cars. An official VW statement also criticised Jourová's comments as “incomprehensible” and said they “could discourage customers from coming to the repair facilities”.