VW rejects call to launch emission scandal compensation program in Europe

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 29, 2016

Drivers in Europe affected by the diesel emissions scandal at Volkswagen won't be compensated, the German carmaker has announced. VW is planning to initiate a compensation program in the United States designed to pay off drivers affected by the scandal.

But VW said there were no grounds to launch such a program in Europe, even rejecting a demand from European Union industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska. Bienkowska recently wrote to VW chief executive Matthias Mueller, providing a list of demands, which include possible compensation for affected VW drivers in Europe.

According to VW, it is introducing a compensation program in North America since it had yet to agree with local regulators on how to fix affected vehicles, which means customers in that part of the world need to wait longer for a solution.

In September 2015, VW confessed to cheating US environmental tests by employing software that could mask harmful nitrogen oxide emissions. VW disclosed that up to around 11 million vehicles globally may have had the software, 8.5 million of which were in Europe.

In the US, VW wants to pay goodwill compensation -- worth $1,000 each -- to tens of thousands of owners of VW vehicles affected by the scandal. Following a meeting between Mueller and Bienkowska in Brussels, VW released a statement saying that in Europe, the focus was on the repair and service process.

It noted that the situation in the US and Canada is not automatically comparable with other global markets, which means that the planned the compensation scheme cannot be launched in other areas.

In a separate statement, the European Commission said that Bienkowska invited VW again to "reflect on adequate ways" to compensate affected customers.

It added that Bienkowska has reiterated that consumers in the EU should get the same treatment as their counterparts in the US. The statement also said that the VW CEO has agreed to meet again with the Commissioner to discuss the matter.

Topics: vw, dieselgate, europe

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