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Volkswagen's treatment of UK customers is “deeply unfair”, say MPs

Published 19 July 2016

Volkswagen has been heavily criticised by MPs after it emerged that UK customers will not be automatically eligible for compensation in the aftermath of the Emissions Scandal

In the USA, Volkswagen has offered to buy back affected cars and pay up to $10,000 (£7500) in compensation; however, no such offer has been forthcoming for UK owners. A report from the Committee said: "We do not accept Volkswagen’s justification of its policy on payments and see nothing to justify their refusal to offer comparable payments to customers in Europe. 

"Volkswagen must provide goodwill payments to European vehicle owners equal to offers that have been made to US vehicle owners. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 might also offer owners some recourse for compensation."

Owners could recover further damages if it was shown that their cars had depreciated in value

According to the report, any claim for a refund under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 would be subject to a sizable deduction to reflect the use the owner has already had of the car; however, owners could recover further damages if it was shown that their cars had depreciated in value as a result of the emissions scandal. Or if Volkswagen's technical fix resulted in the loss of fuel economy. 

Volkswagen has already contacted over 200,000 owners over the scandal in the UK, with affected cars fitted with a sophisticated software ‘defeat device’ that detects whether the vehicle is being driven normally or is undergoing a test in a laboratory. In the latter case, the device alters the engine characteristics to produce a lower level of emissions than usual.

The Transport Select Committee has called on Government authorities to ensure that owners affected by the emissions scandal are not out of pocket as a result of the fix, which it claims has been developed at the lowest possible cost. Volkswagen has put aside £12.6 billion to fix affected vehicles. 

Read all the latest news on the emissions scandal

Comments

mike o    on 25 July 2016

The reaction of VW does not surprise me, with their attitude to UK customers and their different treatment of US customers
My experience is a long time ago,but still bugs me. I bought a New VW Jetta Diesel in 1980 and ran it to approximately 40,000 miles.when the engine failed, with a crack in one of the engine cylinders. I contacted VW who were not interested, and disclaimed any responsibility.
This was obviously long before the internet and mass communication, but eventually I found out that the failure had happened to other VW Jetta Diesels in the UK with the same result VW did not want to know.
To keep the story short, In time and purely by chance I met a man who had been involved with VW sales in the US. He told me that the same problem had happened to the same engine in the US, and they had been given a directive by VW, to replace the engines with no questions.
Needless to say, but to this day I have never bought another VW.



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