VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

 

Volkswagen_logo

European governments and officials seem incompetent to protect on the one hand their car consumers and on the other the environment, despite the crucial role Europe played in the climate change agreement that was signed last December in Paris.

VW’s diesel emissions scandal has revealed so far that the multinational framework in Europe is much more beneficial for large businesses than in the U.S. This is a result of multinationals investing loads of money and time in lobbying our good European policymakers.

Europeans do care significantly about the environment according to a Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Parliament. Consequently, VW’s scandal is surely creating deeper thoughts whether European leaders are acting in their citizens’ interest.

European officials knew it all

The European Commission has claimed to change the way national authorities certify that cars are in line with all the environmental and safety requirements. The surveillance of the vehicles is meant to be increased while testing will become more independent in the future.

Even if these proposals seem quite promising, it is not certain whether they are going to be implemented or bring positive outcomes at the moment where there are documents obtained by Spiegel which reveal that European officials were well aware of the VW diesel scandal since 2010 but didn’t act. More specifically, the diesel emissions cars tests that were conducted by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in 2007, 2011 and 2013 showed that the Nitric Oxide (NOx) emissions levels were a lot higher than the approved ones.

The extreme pressure that was exercised upon the EU officials by the car industry was enough to bury the case and not continue any further investigations. How easy is it now to convince the European consumers that the national governments and EU officials will do their job finally? Unfortunately it is quite difficult and that is why they have recently decided to take matters into their own hands.

European consumers to fight VW alone

While American Volkswagen owners are about to receive approximately a 20.000 dollars compensation for the firm’s deception, EU owners will instead get a software update together with short length of plastic tube. The latter is mainly due to the differences in law which protect EU corporations from suits brought to the court by dissatisfied consumers.

Nevertheless, this does now let down European VW owners, who gather together via lawyers in Berlin, Paris and all around Europe to claim the reimbursement of 5.000 euros per car.

BEUC urges governments to protect consumers

The tests that were conducted by Altroconsumo, member of the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), in order to ensure that diesel emissions are reduced after the removal of the deceiving device in the EU vehicles came out negative. The NOx emissions were found to be 25% higher than before. Hence, it seems that VW’s solution is rather counterproductive. Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC commented on this issue that: “This is another blow for EU consumers and a new dimension of the VW scandal. This test by our Italian member clearly demonstrates that VW’s solution to deactivate the defeat device is not reliable”.

Undeniably, the EU consumers need to be fairly compensated and the EU officials and leaders should be pointing to that direction. As the situation currently holds, although the evidence is clear, not a single European car owner will receive any remuneration, because there is an evident lack of governmental will to challenge the giant German automaker.

European Parliament suggests more emission scandal investigations

Will the recent disclosures be able to make the Old Continent change its policies and act in favor of its consumers? The European Parliament has already set an inquiry committee in order to investigate the scandals of falsified car emissions measurements. The Committee’s next meeting is taking place on August 30 where Günter Verheugen, former European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry (2004-2010) and the automotive supplier Faurecia, a market leader in emission control technologies for light and commercial vehicles are also invited to express their professional views. That seems to be a positive step but it is not yet enough to change things drastically any time in the near future.

All in all, the power of large corporations to lobby heavily our good EU policymakers in favour of their own interest is indisputable and if national governments do not start acting according to their consumers’ benefit in the future the EU will be run by a bunch of shareholder moguls of a handful of multinationals.

At the moment the EU consumer is left alone to fight against giant VW which is most likely to get away with it if one also considers that it requires a lot of organisation and funds for such a firm to compensate 8.5 million EU car owners.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COP21 Breaking News_10 December:#ParisAgreement: Points that remain in suspense

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

Energy Union: EU’s effort towards a cleaner climate with integrated energy market

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Is the European Banking Union an impossible task?

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

This heroic doctor is waging war on rape and the stigma around it

“I believe that startups are for grown-up men, those, who have already achieved something “

Trump and Brexit: After the social whys the political whereto

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

Main results of G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina

In Gaza, UN envoy urges Israel, Palestinian factions to step back from brink of a war that ‘everybody will lose’

‘Stop and listen’ to victims of terrorism, UN chief urges in message marking international day

He died so I could live: UN peacekeeper pays tribute to fallen colleague

Costa Coffee products (Copyright: Costa Coffee; Source: Costa Coffee website, Press area)

The start of the “Caffeine rush”: Coca-Cola acquires Costa Coffee days after Nestlé-Starbucks deal

A call for a new crop of innovators

“At the Environment Assembly citizens expect clean, not hot air”, the Head of UN Environment in Europe underscores in a Sting Exclusive

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

It’s time for cybersecurity to go pro bono

“America first” policy goes against EU-US partnership, say MEPs

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

Online platforms required by law to be more transparent with EU businesses

Norway is known for its cold weather – but it’s been in the grip of a severe heatwave

3 ways activists are being targeted by cyberattacks

New state aid rules: Commission increases national support to farmers up to €25,000

The hidden cost of the electric car boom – child labour

Climate Change : An Already Health Emergency

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

The Banking Union divides deeply the European Union

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

How Europe beat the financial crisis – and the risks it still faces

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

UNICEF delivers medical supplies to Gaza in wake of deadly protests

The world’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity

Predatory labour taxation not an issue for the Commission

Security Council renews mandates of UN force monitoring separation area between Israel and Syria; AU-UN hybrid mission in Darfur

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

Violent disorder is on the rise. Is inequality to blame?

Multilateralism: The only path to address the world’s troubles, signals Guterres

Bundesbank’s President Weidmann criticises France and the EU. Credibility at risk?

EU unfolds strategy on the Egypt question

GSMA outlines new developments for Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving Globalization 4.0

EU to scrutinise foreign direct investment more closely

Employers’ organizations work towards improving the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

Reinforcing EU border security: Visa-exempt travelers will be pre-screened

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

UN welcomes Angola’s repeal of anti-gay law, and ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

The Ultimate Career Choice: General Practice Specialist

More Stings?

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 )

Connecting to %s