9th Feb 2023

EU demands Volkswagen compensate all EU purchasers

  • The car company has said it expects to pay a further €1.2bn in 2021 in further settlements. But this figure would go up significantly, if it were to compensate all EU purchasers (Photo: Abdullah AlBargan)
Listen to article

The European Commission and the EU Consumer Protection Authority (CPC) on Tuesday (28) September called on Volkswagen to compensate all purchasers across all member states for misleading them about vehicle emissions.

In a statement, the commission noted Volkswagen had sold 8.5m vehicles in the EU that had been outfitted with a defeat device to cheat emissions tests up until 2015.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Until now, Volkswagen has only compensated purchasers in Germany, but the commission on Tuesday reiterated its position that such consumers across all EU member states should be compensated.

Didier Reynders, commissioner for justice, said on Tuesday: "Dieselgate broke six years ago. Still, up until now, not all consumers have been compensated. Courts have ruled against Volkswagen's unfair treatment of consumers, and yet the carmaker is not willing to work with consumer organisations to find appropriate solutions for consumers."

"Not only consumers residing in Germany, but all consumers need to be compensated," he said.

And on Twitter, he added that "All EU consumers must be treated fairly and the same way."

Volkswagen argues that consumers outside of Germany do not need to be compensated because the affected cars have been modified in the meantime to meet legal emission standards.

But the CPC disagreed and declared on Wednesday that consumers should also be protected against infringements that "have already ceased, but the harmful effects of which may continue."

Multiple national and EU courts have already rejected Volkswagens' legal defence.

Earlier this year, a Dutch court ruled that owners of a rigged Volkswagen, Audi, Seat or Skoda are entitled to €3,000. Owners of a second-hand such car are entitled to €1,500. In total, 150,000 people are warranted to receive compensation in the Netherlands.

Volkswagen has appealed the decision. "We believe that car owners in the Netherlands have not suffered any economic loss because of the issue", Volkswagen said in a statement.

Although the CPC cannot order the carmaker to pay compensation, it can ask the carmaker to commit to an "appropriate solution" to "close this chapter avoiding further years of litigation." Alternatively, Volkswagen can ask the CPC to come up with a solution.

According to the German carmaker, the 'Dieselgate' scandal has cost the company €31.3bn. Previously, the car company has said it expects to pay a further €1.2bn in 2021 for further settlements.

But this figure would go up significantly if it were now to compensate all EU purchasers.

VW emissions software was illegal, top EU lawyer says

Volkswagen used software to alter emissions illegally, according to the European advocate-general on Thursday. The German carmaker installed devices that could detect when the car would be subjected to testing - which would then distort parameters to show lower emissions.


EU bodies dodge questions on secret VW loan report

The European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have refused to answer detailed questions about the demand from the European Ombudsman to publish an Olaf report on a €400m EIB loan Volkswagen Group (VW) received through deception.

MEPs to vote on risky 'hydrogen for home heating' rule

The gas-boiler industry is pushing for hydrogen to be allowed to heat homes — but as well as being riskier for explosions and exacerbating asthma, experts dub domestic hydrogen 'a dangerous distraction'.

Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'

The European Central Bank raised interest rates by another 0.5 percent to a 14-year high, and expects to hike rates by another half percent in March. But what does that mean for the green transition?


The return of Lula means now is the time for EU-Mercosur deal

The EU must realise the need for a trade agreement with Mercosur. The timing has never been better. The recent election of the president of Brazil, Lula da Silva, marks a fresh start to move forward on the Mercosur Agreement.

Latest News

  1. EU leaders attempt to hash out response to US green subsidies
  2. Russian diplomats in EU: unpaid wages, low morale
  3. Eight EU states press for more Turkey-style migrant swap deals
  4. EU buries head deeper in sand over Israel's apartheid
  5. Polish MEP also went on freelance Azerbaijan trip
  6. Why Europe's interminable compromises are a virtue
  7. Wales' message to Europe: 'We'll be back'
  8. MEPs to vote on risky 'hydrogen for home heating' rule

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWWEU Social Dialogue review – publication of the European Commission package and joint statement of ETUFs
  2. Oxfam InternationalPan Africa Program Progress Report 2022 - Post Covid and Beyond
  3. WWFWWF Living Planet Report
  4. EFBWWEFBWW Executive Committee report on major abuses, labour crime and subcontracting
  5. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  6. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us