VW’s refusal to compensate UK dieselgate owners branded ‘deeply unfair’

Published: 15 July 2016

► Select committee criticises VW
► British owners won’t be compensated
► Yet American owners owed up to $10k

MPs on the transport select committee have criticised Volkswagen again for refusing to compensate British owners of cars affected by the dieselgate emissions scandal.

In the US, the company is offering up to $10,000 (£7400) in compensation for owners who bought a VW and subsequently found its emissions claims were misleading.

Louise Ellman, the committee chair, said: ‘Vehicle owners have been refused goodwill payments. That is despite VW inflicting a great deal of uncertainty on its own customers, along with the prospect of declining residual values and the inconvenience of having to undergo repairs.’

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Dieselgate: how VW tricked the world with its emissions claims

It follows the scandal dubbed dieselgate in September 2015, when VW admitted to fitting a ‘cheat device’ in its cars which could detect when it was in a laboratory testbed and falsely enter a cleaner emissions mode.

The crisis first blew up in the US, but has since spread to the rest of the world. In the UK, 1.2 million VW Group products - including Audis, Skodas and Seats - are affected.

But unlike in the litigious US, the UK division has refused to consider compensation for owners. The transport select committee has promised to keep pushing VW for a fairer deal for UK owners affected.

How VW is fixing affected cars

VW is gradually contacting people affected and offering to do a free repair; this technical fix includes an upgrade to the car’s ECU electronic brain and - on the 1.2-litre engines affected - some physical new parts too.

This is a major operation for Volkswagen. Globally, it has set aside an extraordinary €16.2bn (£12.6bn) to fix affected cars - double what it originally forecast.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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