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Consumer Action Against Volkswagen over ‘Dieselgate’ to be Coordinated by EU Commission

Consumer Action Against Volkswagen over ‘Dieselgate’ to be Coordinated by EU Commission
In order to ensure that those European drivers and car owners who are affected by Volkswagen's cheating of diesel emissions tests are given their due, the European Commission will meet consumer groups this week to enure that the steps taken by it are enough to for the drivers and owners to seek compensation from the German car maker.
There were allegations that Volkswagen had made breaches of at least of two sets of rules that apply across the European Union and the Commission was assessing whether these allegations were true enough, Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova told a news conference and dubbed Volkswagen’s "Dieselgate" scandal as a pan-European Union challenge.
The allegations are that the so called “dieselgate” scandal of Volkswagen had flouted two Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive that are applicable throughout the bloc – one is the Unfair Commercial Practises Directive and the other is one which prohibits companies from touting exaggerated environmental claims in their sales pitches.
"(They) set high standards for all the member states to enforce in case these rules are breached. It seems to the case in so-called Dieselgate," Jourova said.

She said that feed back which amounted to allegations that Volkswagen had not provided sufficient information to consumers about the diesel emission standards were provided in recent weeks by consumer groups and national authorities from various parts of the European Union.
There were no comments available from Volkswagen.
Even as Volkswagen declined to comment, they would have to provide evidence contrary to the allegations when they meet Jourova who has plans to confront the German auto maker’s representatives on an unspecified date. Jourova however has declared plans to meet the national protection agencies on Sept. 29 and the consumer associations this Thursday.
"It is not my intention to come with strong action without fair communication with the company. "I cannot say I am going to take a stricter approach. I want them to look at the valid legislation and see what they have to do," she said.
However what the "strong action" might be was not elaborated by Jourova.
The national organizations and the respective authorities are free to pursue Volkswagen as they see fit with regards to the allegations, the Commission has said.
But the European Commission has already made it clear and shown that it will take on multinationals itself when it feels it can and it is necessary after its huge demand for back taxes from Apple last week and that the commission is also keen to ensure EU rules are enforced to the full.
In the same manner as Volkswagen has done for its car owners in the United States, Volkswagen should also voluntarily compensate customers in Europe for its diesel emissions test cheating feels Jourova as she has been working with consumer groups to pressure Volkswagen to do so.
Volkswagen has so far rejected calls for similar payments covering the 8.5 million affected vehicles in Europe even as the company has pledged billions of dollars to compensate drivers in the United States. However in Europe, the different legal rules weaken the chances of winning a pay out.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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