Brussels demands additional guarantees from VW for benefit of European customers

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:35
Brussels demands further assurances from VW. Brussels demands further assurances from VW. © Belga
The European Commission has demanded additional guarantees, from the German manufacturer Volkswagen, for its European customers affected by the diesel engine emissions scandal.
This was made public yesterday (Monday) by the European Executive.

“We are asking Volkswagen to guarantee, in a way which is both legally binding and without time limits that the necessary repairs to all cars will both operate and not have a adverse effect,” explained a European Commission official.

The latter also wishes to obtain assurances from the auto giant that it is taking positive action in favour of “voluntary offsets” and opened up the option of repurchasing affected vehicles, in some cases, according to the same source.

The European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, at the end of last week wrote to a Volkswagen representative, Francisco Javier Garcia-Sanz.

This was with the express intention of starting the ignition for the “action plan” proposed by the manufacturer in September, a year after the scandal broke.

This plan anticipates that all vehicles will conform to regulations by Autumn 2017, but, unlike the United States, this will not open the way for financial compensation for consumers who consider they have been defrauded.

The Commission stressed, “VW should convince us that vehicles will actually be repaired by Autumn 2017.”

The plan of action does not propose “any specific provision” on how “inconvenience will be minimised” for affected customers.

Ms Jourova regrets this in her letter to Volkswagen, articles seen by AFP.

The Commissioner considers that “additional advantages” should be offered to customers.

The Commission is thus requesting a waiver on the time limit for ensuring that the engines conform to European legislation “Euro 5” et “Euro 6” on emissions of gas pollutants from diesel engines.

Vera Jourova and Mr Garcia-Sanz are expected, once again, to meet in Brussels on Thursday.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times
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