UK government urged to prosecute VW

The Transport Select Committee has described Volkswagen’s decision not to compensate UK drivers affected by dieselgate as deeply unfair, and called on the UK government to prosecute the German car manufacturer if it doesn’t rethink its stance.

VW has set aside $15bn in compensation for the 500,000 US drivers, each of whom will receive between $5,000 and $10,000. But it says emission regulations in Europe are different to those in the US, making compensation unnecessary.

Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Committee, said, ‘VW has acted cynically to cheat emissions tests which exist solely to protect human health. VW’s evidence to us was just not credible but the government has lacked the will to hold VW accountable for its actions. There is a real danger that VW will be able to get away with cheating emissions tests in Europe if regulators do not act.’

She added that VW had ‘inflicted a great deal of uncertainty on customers, along with the prospect of declining residual values and the inconvenience of having to undergo repairs. We are concerned that VW’s fix was developed at the lowest possible cost which might lead to increased costs for motorists down the line. We have called upon the [British car examining] Vehicle Certification Agency to do everything in its power to ensure that does not happen.’

MPs on the committee have also said that challenging VW is a matter of national responsibility, and criticised the British government for ‘trying to pass the buck’ to the EU over the scandal.

It said, ‘VW has failed UK customers, but the Government has failed consumers.’