Volkswagen has rejected suggestions it may have breached European Union consumer rules in connection with its emissions cheating scandal, and said it does not see the need to compensate affected car owners.
EU Consumer Commissioner Věra Jourová said on Monday (5 September) the European Commission was assessing whether Volkswagen had violated two EU consumer directives.
Several officials have also urged the German carmaker to draw up a compensation scheme for affected EU drivers similar to the one it has agreed with US authorities.
In a letter to Jourová dated September 7 and seen by Reuters on Thursday, Volkswagen said a technical fix had been found and was already available for more than 50% of the affected vehicles across the 28 EU member states.
“We therefore believe there is no room or need for any additional compensation,” Volkswagen said in the letter signed by its head of public affairs, Thomas Steg.
The company also said it did not believe it had breached the two regulations identified by Jourová – the Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive and the Unfair Commercial Practises Directive – adding the technical fixes were being carried out entirely at the carmaker’s expense.
One of the researchers that put Volkswagen’s emissions cheating on the map said the European Commission’s proposal to more strictly police the car industry won’t deliver ‘fundamental change’.
But the Commission is unlikely to drop the case so easily.
Jourová hosted EU consumer organisations in Brussels yesterday (8 September) to discuss ways of seeking compensation from Volkswagen. The talks represented “an important first step”, said Christian Wigand, spokesman for the European Commission, cited by EUobserver.