VW is yet to guarantee its emissions repairs do not affect its cars’ performance, the EU Commission said Tuesday in its conclusions on the 8.5 million car recalls made after the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.
In a final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen, the European Commission and EU consumer authorities welcomed the VW Group’s efforts to build trust in the recalls and “significant improvement in the information provided to consumers”.
Following the Dieselgate scandal, the EU executive had obtained from Volkswagen in September 2016 an EU wide action plan to ensure that the cars affected in the Union are repaired, that consumers are properly informed and that they do not suffer inconveniences from this process.
The rate of repair is now reaching 80% and the Group committed to continue the free-of-charge update and the related de facto guarantee to solve problems that arise after the update until the end of 2020.
However, the Commission and the consumer authorities say they regret that the company could not give a full and clear guarantee in case of problems after the repair.
“We have worked hard to make VW more proactive with EU consumers affected by the dieselgate scandal,” said Consumers Commissioner Vera Jourova. While VW had fulfilled the action plan they promised her, “that was all. This is again a reminder of the need for stronger rules on individual redress in the EU, including collective actions,” she said.
In their conclusions, the Commission and consumer authorities agreed that the actions undertaken by Volkswagen have so far resulted in positive developments regarding the online information available, with extensive questions and answers and video clips, on the reason for the update and how to obtain it and on the Trust Building Measure.
On the other hand, Volkswagen has not provided a full and clear guarantee that the update is not affecting the cars’ performance and has refused to simplify the conditions giving access to the Trust Building Measure.
The VW Group has committed to responding to all complaints that consumers may have after the repair. Concerned consumers are encouraged to contact their local dealers if they have any problems related to the update. In case they are denied assistance, they should lodge a formal complaint with the Volkswagen national contact points for the recall and can inform their national consumer organisation.
The Commission says the conclusion of the coordinated EU-level action does not exclude further actions by enforcement authorities at national level, according to their local circumstances.
The dieselgate scandal prompted a fundamental overhaul of EU type approval rules. As a result, from September 2020, the Commission will be able to order EU-wide recalls and impose administrative penalties on manufacturers or technical services of up to EUR 30,000 per non-compliant car.