MPs have accused Volkswagen of acting unfairly by not compensating UK car owners

James Nickerson
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Emissions Falsification Scandal Rocks Volkswagen
Volkswagen drivers in the US can claim financial compensation (Source: Getty)

Volkswagen has acted in a "deeply unfair" way in its decision not to compensate UK car owners affected by the emissions scandal, a group of MPs have said.

MPs on the Transport Select Committee said that it was unfair VW car owners in the US will be compensated, but would not in the UK.

In the US, car owners affected by the emissions scandal can claim up to $10,000 (£7,400), while in the UK owners will just have their car repaired.

The statement came as the emissions scandal lingered on after VW last year admitted to rigging vehicles with a device which cheated emissions tests.

The company has set aside billions as compensation, recalled millions of cars and even resulted in German prosecutors launching a probe into the company's former chief executive.

It has also hit sales: figures published this morning by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association showed the company's market share was squeezed in the first six months of 2016.

Read more: VW under pressure from European Commission over compensation in wake of diesel scandal

Chair of the committee Louise Ellman, a Labour MP, said: "Volkswagen Group has acted cynically to cheat emissions tests which exist solely to protect human health.

"Vehicle owners have been refused goodwill payments. That is despite VW inflicting a great deal of uncertainty on its own customers along with the prospect of declining residual values and the inconvenience of having to undergo repairs.

"We are concerned that VW's fix was developed at the lowest possible cost which might lead to increased costs for motorists down the line. We have called upon the Vehicle Certification Agency to do everything in its power to ensure that does not happen."

Read more: VW agrees to shell out $14.7bn to settle emissions-cheating scandal

The news came after VW agreed to pay up to $15.3bn in fines and environmental incentives in the US after the scandal. Car owners will get at least $5,100.

The European Commission has also been putting pressure on VW after it refused to compensate car owners in Europe while at the same time paying compensation in America.

"There is a real danger that VW will be able to get away with cheating emissions tests in Europe if regulators do not act," Ellman added.

The committee said the government had been too slow to investigate whether the car-making giant should be prosecuted.

Volkswagen said: "Our customers are our priority, and so we are working hard to deliver technical measures for the affected vehicles in the UK. We have contacted all affected customers, with around 200,000 now informed that their model should be brought into their nearest Retailer to receive the technical measures, which take between 30 and 60 minutes of workshop time, according to model, and of course are free of charge.

"Close to 50,000 vehicles in the UK have now received the technical measure, a number which will continue to increase as further vehicles’ technical measures are developed, rigorously tested and then approved by the relevant transport authorities."

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