UK government steps back from VW scandal

The UK government is not planning to pursue Volkswagen in the courts or seek compensation for affected car owners, according to The Financial Times.

MPs have accused the government of ‘inertia’ following the emission scandal of September 2015 and said it has ‘let down’ VW owners by not launching a formal investigation.

However, the government says it has not taken legal action because ‘the alleged misconduct at the root of this issue appears to have taken place outside the UK, notably in Germany, and is the subject of a criminal investigation by the German authorities.’

It insists it hasn’t ruled out an independent investigation but says its main focus now is supporting German and European investigations.

The Competition and Markets Authority told The Financial Times, ‘Should new information be brought to us or if Volkswagen Group’s future conduct leads to further concerns, we will look again at the matter.’

More than a million UK drivers have been affected by the scandal, which VW has promised to fix by the middle of next year. However, it is not offering compensation to European drivers – unlike in America, where they’re paying out $15bn in fines and compensation.

The UK government says it will provide assistance to consumers who want to sue the company directly.