Saturday

26th May 2018

Investigation

VW website to inform European consumers about cheating

  • VW promises to "inform customers online via a single, clear and transparent multilingual website" (Photo: Brett Levin)

Volkswagen will set up a single website to inform European consumers about cars equipped with cheating software, the carmaker told the European Commission in a letter seen by this website.

Francisco Garcia Sanz, member of the company's board of management, wrote that the company would “reinforce communication towards our customers via personal contacts within our dealership and in direct communication with the Volkswagen Group”.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“We will also inform customers online via a single, clear and transparent multilingual website on which all pertinent information will be communicated directly from the Volkswagen Group,” he wrote.

The firm also repeated a promise to inform all customers by the end of this year and “to have all cars repaired by autumn 2017”.

The letter was dated Friday 23 September and addressed to EU consumer affairs commissioner Vera Jourova.

It came after Jourova and Garcia Sanz had met in Brussels on Wednesday.

Following the meeting, the commission announced VW had committed to an EU-wide action plan.

In his letter, VW executive Garcia told Jourova the company “fully commits to what has been agreed” on Wednesday, writing that it “is offering a comprehensive and transparent action plan”.

Accelerating, one year later

“The fair treatment of European consumers, in full respect of EU consumer legislation is of pivotal interest for us,” he wrote, adding that VW “has committed to accelerating” the process to bring diesel cars into conformity of EU law.

The VW scandal, which involved emissions cheating by models of the brands Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, and Audi, became public a year ago.

While most of the affected cars are driving around in Europe, it is US consumers who have been offered financial compensation.

It is also US authorities that have been threatening to slap “substantial penalties” on VW for breaking the law, while no European authority has yet indicted the German industrial giant.

VW has set up websites about “the diesel issue” in some EU countries, but according to the EU commission, the quality of information varies too much.

“We have had conversations with all the consumer organisations from all over Europe and one of the main worries by consumer organisations was that customers are not informed in the same way, that it is not transparent enough, and that these things take too much time,” said commission spokesman Christian Wigand on Friday.

“In a first step, this is being addressed now,” said Wigand. “This is a positive step, but of course we will continue to follow this up and to closely monitor the outcome.”

Civil society organisations however, said they were disappointed at the announcement of the action plan last week.

VW: EU's action plan is 'nothing new'

Consumer affairs commissioner Jourova said Volkswagen has "committed to an EU-wide action plan", but the promise contains little news value according to the carmaker itself.

EU urges consumer groups to go after VW

European consumer groups met in Brussels to discuss strategy and tactics on how to have Volkswagen Group compensate owners of cars with cheating software.

VW 'partially' delivers on EU-wide plan

German carmaker had promised the EU that all its citizens who own a diesel car with cheating software would be informed by the end of the year, but now it says it needs more time.

News in Brief

  1. Italy set to pick eurosceptic finance minister
  2. UK foreign minister fooled by Russian pranksters
  3. Rajoy ally gets 33 years in jail for corruption
  4. Close race as polls open in Irish abortion referendum
  5. Gazprom accepts EU conditions on gas supplies
  6. Facebook tells MEPs: non-users are not profiled
  7. Commission proposes ending France deficit procedure
  8. UK households hit with Brexit income loss

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach