VW owners want compensation

Some 90% of UK Volkswagen drivers who could be affected by the diesel emissions scandal believe they should be compensated, according to a survey by Which?

A massive 96% said fuel efficiency was a key consideration when they bought their car, while 90% viewed environmental impact as an important factor.

VW has not confirmed whether owners of cars fitted with the software used to cheat environmental tests in the US will receive a payout.

On Monday, Volkswagen’s UK boss Paul Willis told the Commons transport committee it is too early to discuss compensation.

He told MPs that the company has to regain the trust of its customers first. ‘I think it’s premature to talk about loss of value,’ he said. ‘This is a very important issue, but it’s not a safety-related issue.’

Last month Volkswagen admitted that up to 11 million of its vehicles were affected worldwide, with around 1.2 million in the UK.

In the wake of the emissions scandal, 86% of people questioned by consumer group Which? expressed concerns about their vehicle’s environmental impact, followed by their vehicle’s resale value (83%) and performance (73%).

The poll of 2,000 motorists who own a VW diesel manufactured between 2008 and 2015 also showed that 52% would be put off from buying a VW diesel car in the future.

The firm has begun to write to affected owners, and car recalls are due to start in the first quarter of next year, but nearly three-quarters (74%) believe VW’s response to the crisis has been poor.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said many VW owners decided to buy their car based on its efficiency and low environmental impact. He said it is ‘outrageous’ that VW is not being clear with their customers about ‘how and when they will be compensated’.

He is urging Volkswagen UK to set out an urgent timetable for redress to the owners of the affected vehicles. He is also seeking assurances from the Government that it is putting in place changes to prevent something like this from happening again.