After Volkswagen agreed to a 15-billion-dollar deal to settle the diesel claims in the United States, there are some wondering why a similar program is not being discuss for European customers as well.
The US regulators have put the guns on Volkswagen following the automaker’s admission that it was cheating on diesel emissions tests, thus “allowing” around 500,000 2.0-litre TDIs to emit harmful NOx at levels up to 40 times more that EPA’s limits during on-road driving conditions. This rightful scrutiny finally concluded after 9 months with Volkswagen agreeing on buying back the over-polluting cars from the affected owners, for the overall deal to worth more than 15 billion dollars. Even with this costly US settlement, Europe’s biggest automaker can now move on, as it seems there are no similar “dangers” in its homeland, where there are 8.5 million vehicles fitted with the emissions cheating device. And this is because Germany is watching over, as Volkswagen is the biggest of the country’s car makers and one of its largest employers, with more than 270,000 jobs and even more working for suppliers.
However, there were some voices asking Volkswagen to offer some compensation to its European customers as well. In a letter to CEO Matthias Mueller, European Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska demanded back in January that the company should treat the EU owners in the same way as the US ones, after it was found out the automaker gave a 500-dollar Visa card and another 500-dollar gift in credit. Bienkowska has now once gain said “Volkswagen should voluntarily pay European car owners compensation that is comparable with that which they will pay U.S. consumers.” The Commissioner reiterated it would be unfair of VW to treat European consumers differently just because of a different legal system. “Treating consumers in Europe differently than US consumers is no way to win back trust.” VW officials previously have said they will fix the affected vehicles but have no plans to pay consumers compensation, claiming they have suffered no loss.