Mayor Sadiq Khan says VW has shown 'utter contempt' by refusing to pay £2.5m London congestion charge bill after emissions scandal

Rebecca Smith
Sadiq Khan said 80,000 VW cars with defeat devices were registered in London
Sadiq Khan said 80,000 VW cars with defeat devices were registered in London (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has said Volkswagen (VW) has shown "utter contempt" for Londoners after the German car giant has refused to pay £2.5m to compensate congestion charge money lost due to the emissions scandal.

VW has admitted around 11m cars worldwide had been fitted with "defeat devices" which noted when the car was undergoing testing and switched to a cleaner mode to improve results.

Read more: Mayor says it's a myth London gets too much public spending on transport

There are around 80,000 VW cars registered in London which are believed to have the device, and Khan had met VW's UK boss to request the firm compensate the Londoners with defeat devices in their cars or repay Transport for London for lost congestion charge. But VW refused, saying the cars had validly qualified for the low emissions discount.

Khan said:

I am disappointed by the utter contempt VW has shown for Londoners. Their appalling lack of action since the ‘dieselgate’ scandal came to light must not be allowed to continue.

Unfortunately VW made it abundantly clear that they have no interest or intention of reimbursing Londoners or indeed any UK customers who bought these polluting vehicles. They are also in denial over their responsibility to help clean up London’s filthy air and mitigate the damage their cars have caused.

Last year, a US court ordered the car giant pay a $14.7bn (£12bn) settlement over the scandal, and Khan said VW was "making a laughing stock of the UK" by not offering compensation.

VW, however, said all of its vehicles that benefited from the congestion charge greener vehicle discount "did so validly throughout the relevant period", and that there was "no basis" on which it could be said that TfL has lost any sums as a result of the NOx issue, so no compensation was due.

Read more: Hermes urges shareholder backlash against Volkswagen in tomorrow's AGM

Related articles