MEP urges payout for Irish Volkswagen owners

Deirdre Clune calls for VW Ireland to act on example set by mass buyback of cars in US

 Irish MEP  Deirdre Clune: “The crux of the matter is this. Volkswagen cheated its customers. It must now make amends,” she said.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish MEP Deirdre Clune: “The crux of the matter is this. Volkswagen cheated its customers. It must now make amends,” she said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Irish MEP Deirdre Clune has called on Volkswagen Group Ireland to begin compensating its Irish customers affected by the car giant’s recent emissions scandal. Nearly 110,000 Irish cars are affected.

Ms Clune, who is a member of he EU Transport Committee, said: “The crux of the matter is this. Volkswagen cheated its customers. It must now make amends by agreeing to a package of compensatory measures for its Irish customers. VW customers in the US are to receive compensation, in the form of a mass buyback of affected cars, as well as compensation and committing funds to promote green automotive technology.

“I am calling on Volkswagen Ireland to begin engaging with its Irish customers as to a similar scheme of compensation immediately. Volkswagen’s offer thus far has fallen short of what is expected from a responsible manufacturer. Their inaction in Europe is an affront to their loyal customers.

“In October 2015, the European Parliament called for a thorough investigation, following the news that many Volkswagen cars had a defeat device or software in diesel engines, that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. Volkswagen later admitted that about 11 million cars worldwide, including over eight million in Europe, are fitted with the so-called defeat device. Nearly 110,000 Irish cars are affected.

“The European Commission cannot force VW to compensate its European customers, leaving consumers with the only option being to go down a timely and potentially costly litigation route.”

Ms Clune is part of a 45-member committee of inquiry tasked with investigating the failings of the European institutions in uncovering the scandal. “One of the key roles of the European Parliament is protection of European consumers. In this instance both Volkswagen and regulators failed them. We must ensure that Volkswagen does the right thing here and that customers are compensated accordingly.

The final report is due in spring 2017.

Investor anger

Meanwhile South Korea is to fine the Japanese carmaker Nissan Won330m ($280,000) and file a criminal complaint against its local head of operations for allegedly manipulating emissions tests.

– (Additional reporting: Financial Times service)