Volkswagen owes compensation to all European customers that it sold a so-called cheating diesel, the European Commission and European consumer organizations have warned. Now that the German car manufacturer is not moving, the committee says it is time to increase the pressure.
Responsible European Commissioner Didier Reynders has yet again written to Volkswagen to complain about the lack of compensation. German customers did receive it, but Reynders still sees “no willingness to pay compensation to consumers in the other EU Member States”.
Furthermore, Volkswagen refuses to seek a solution for victims together with consumer organizations, the European Commissioner said. At the same time, the judge has been clear about Volkswagen’s unfair dealing with customers.
If Volkswagen steps in, the company could save its customers and itself years of lawsuits, Reynders writes. He underlines that car buyers throughout the EU deserve equal and fair treatment.
For the time being, Volkswagen maintains that only people who lived in Germany when they bought their manipulated Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT or Skoda are entitled to compensation. However, several judges have now rejected that defence, Reynders argues. For example, the Amsterdam court ruled in July that Dutch customers can indeed claim compensation.
The cheating diesel scandal came to light in 2015. Volkswagen then admitted to having manipulated emissions tests on a large scale with software, making diesel cars appear cleaner than they were.