Volkswagen getting away with it in Europe

This is a guest article written by one of our passionate readers, Mrs Rachael Everly. 

It was an embarrassing day when the news broke out that Volkswagen had been duping emission tests for years, and the actual emissions were way above what Europeans rules allowed.

How it unfolded

It was in the US that the German giant was caught. On 18th September 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) served a notice of violation to Volkswagen. They found that many of the Volkswagen’s cars were fitted with a “defeat device” or software that helped detect that the car was undergoing an emissions test and altered its performance accordingly in order to ensure that the car performed according to test results. Following this the German giant was forced to admit wrongdoing and the process of levying fines began in the U.S. Volkswagen’s engines were producing pollutants like nitrogen oxides 40 times above what was allowed in the U.S. It was understood that day that VW had screwed up big time, even the American head of VW, Michael Horn, simply said “We’ve totally screwed up”.

How did Volkswagen fared in the U.S and Europe

EPA has the authority to fine a company up to USD 37,500/- for each car that breaches standards. Right now we are hearing that in the U.S. each owner may be compensated by USD 10,000/- per vehicle and the company has set aside another USD 10 billion to fix or buy back affected cars in the U.S.

On the other hand in Europe it looks like VW may get away with a simple admission of wrongdoing and an apology!

People like Maros Sefcovic, the EU Commission Vice President overseeing the energy and climate policy has spoken against this. Many politicians are raising their voices and called for a united action against VW. European policymakers are angry but it appears their wrath has insufficient power to back it.

Volkswagen response in Europe

Volkswagen chief technology officer told the European Parliament on July 13 that Europe’s lax rules on environment compared to those in the U.S meant that the car could be brought to comply with a simple software update while in the U.S they would require mechanical modifications. Thus he said that the European consumer was in no way inconvenienced and therefore there was no need for a payment to be made for damages.

What does it all mean?

The Volkswagen case shows how incompetent European countries are when it comes to the protection of the environment. The U.S took action against VW in 2015, however it was in 2013 that researchers working for the EU had flagged irregularities in emission testing and yet no member state took action.

At present, according to industry experts it seems that taking advantage of the impotence of the European policymakers VW may get away with simply paying 6.5 million euros (USD 7.21 million).

Europe needs to learn from the U.S. The U.S. faces a very strong automobile lobby but it has always stepped up when consumer interests are harmed. Toyota was forced to make record recalls in the U.S. One of the biggest came in 2014 when it was forced to recall 7.8million cars due to faulty airbags.

Europe needs to put up a united front to deal with car manufacturers that have apparently grown big enough to subdue consumer interests and get away with serious crimes by just getting “slapped on the wrists”. Also Europe should start strengthening its laws dealing with car pollutants and bring it in line with the rest of the developed nations of the world.

Europe has had a good history of dealing with cartels and now it needs to live up to that history and starting dealing with huge corporations who are taking advantage of the weak environmental protection laws and the fractured politics of the EU. The U.K parliament’s transport select committee recently complained on how the European Commission holds neither the necessary power nor the evidence to prosecute VW. This is quite worrying and if it continues this way Europe shall set a very dangerous precedent in dangerous times.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Join the Hive!

Featured Stings

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

EU Commission retracts on the Chinese solar panel case

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Building a Sustainable Future – speech by UNEP Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw at the LPAA Thematic Event on Buildings

There is a way for Eurozone to reach a sustainable growth path

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to embrace unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi

Iran nuclear talks’ deadline extended: the match is still open for many

Commission offers discount on fines to banks for competition infringements

European Union: Retail sales show deep recession

EU car manufacturers worry about an FTA with Japan

Health & Sustainable Development Goals: it’s about doing what we can

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Cloud computing under scrutiny in the EU?

Family incomes stagnate in the EU; people excluded from ‘moderate recovery’

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

A Brussels antithesis reveals where the EU is heading

Is “Sustainable Development” a concept that integrates Health Literacy and Health Policy as a global health action?

France asks help from Germany but it will not be for free

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

The vicious cycle of poverty and exclusion spreads fast engulfing more children

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

New round of bargaining for the 2014 EU budget late in autumn

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

A Young entrepreneur cries out: “start in Europe, stay in Europe”

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

Hardened creditors drive Greece to dire straits; Tsipras desperate for an agreement

What UK and EU risk if Brexit “wins” these elections

The Commission breathless behind the horsemeat scandal

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

Commission and ECB prepare new financial mega-tool in support of SMEs

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

ECB offers plenty and cheap liquidity to support growth in all Eurozone countries

Germany and Europe prepare for Trump’s America

Azerbaijan chooses Greek corridor for its natural gas flow to EU

Will the end of QE come along with ECB’s inflation target?

Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

Can the EU really make Google and Facebook pay publishers and media?

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

Is Germany’s political landscape becoming a breeding ground for extremism?

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

Towards the Rise of the United States of the Atlantic?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Verizon boasts momentum for IoT platform

Civil society organisations disenchanted with “Youth Guarantee”

Junior Enterprises as a solution for Youth Entrepreneurship

Joris in Indonesia

JADE Spring Meeting Live Coverage: Entrepreneurial skills in the digital markets

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

Inflation not a problem for Europe

Fed, ECB take positions to face the next global financial crisis; the Brits uncovered

Turkey’s Erdogan provokes the US and the EU by serving jihadists and trading on refugees

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

A Sting Exclusive: “On the road to Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement”, by Ambassador Katakami of the Japanese Mission to the European Union

G20 World Exclusive Interview: “The world, especially emerging economies and developing countries, require a more sustainable and quality development”, the Spokesperson of Japan underscores live from Antalya Turkey

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

Europe moulds global defense and security chart given US new inward vision

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

More Stings?

Comments

  1. I agree that European consumer and environmental laws need to be strengthened but surely in all the jurisdictions there are laws that can be used to punish Audi/VW. I see that Italy is fining them for “improper business practices” — only 5M but it is something. Some of the German states have charges. One commenter suggested UK owners could use the Consumer Guarantee Directive to demand a full refund for a latent defect. Has there been false advertising? Violations of investment laws? Forging of certification documents as South Korea has charged? It may be difficult to levy a meaningful fine but every charge, with publicity, hurts the VW/Audi/Porsche brands. Strong restrictions on diesels or incentives for hybrids would hurt future VW sales. It is Europeans who have been hurt the most by these crimes and it is the European market that is VW’s bread and butter going forward.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s