The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

Tajani Volkswagen 2018

Antonio Tajani visiting the Volkswagen industrial plant in Wolfsburg. © European Union , 2010 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

Today the European Commission and national consumer authorities in the EU have published their conclusions on the 8.5 million car recalls made in the Union by the Volkswagen group after the “dieselgate” scandal.

The VW Group’s effort to build trust in the recalls and the significant improvement in the information provided to consumers, are welcomed. The rate of repair is now reaching 80% and the Group committed to continue the free-of-charge update and the related de facto guarantee to solve problems that arise after the update until the end of 2020. However, the Commission and the consumer authorities regret that the company could not give a full and clear guarantee in case of problems after the repair.

Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, commented: “We have worked hard to make VW more proactive with EU consumers affected by the dieselgate scandal. VW fulfilled the action plan they promised to me, but that was all. This is again a reminder of the need for stronger rules on individual redress in the EU, including collective actions.”

In their conclusions, the European Commission and consumer authorities agree that the actions undertaken by Volkswagen have so far resulted in positive developments regarding the online information available, with extensive questions and answers and video clips, on the reason for the update and how to obtain it and on the Trust Building Measure. On the other hand, Volkswagen has not provided a full and clear guarantee that the update is not affecting the cars’ performance and has refused to simplify the conditions giving access to the Trust Building Measure. The VW Group has committed to responding to all complaints that consumers may have after the repair. Concerned consumers are encouraged to contact their local dealers if they have any problems related to the update. In case they are denied assistance, they should lodge a formal complaint with the Volkswagen national contact points for the recall and can inform their national consumer organisation.

Next steps

The conclusion of this coordinated EU-level action does not exclude further actions by enforcement authorities at national level, according to their local circumstances.

Background

Following the Dieselgate scandal, Commissioner Jourová obtained from Volkswagen in September 2016 an EU wide action plan to ensure that the cars affected in the Union are repaired, that consumers are properly informed and that they do not suffer inconveniences from this process. In June 2017, as the repair process was still slow, Volkswagen provided in addition the so-called Trust Building Measure, with which Volkswagen promised to solve problems that arise after the repair until end 2018. The de facto guarantee related to the Trust Building Measure is limited to 11 parts of the engine.

In September 2017, national consumer protection authorities, under the leadership of the Dutch authority (ACM) and the European Commission asked Volkswagen to make additional efforts. Today’s report gives an overview of the results of the actions undertaken by Volkswagen following this request.

The EU Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Regulation links national consumer authorities in a pan-European enforcement network. Thanks to this framework, a national authority in one EU country can call on their counterpart in another EU country to ask them to intervene in case of a cross-border infringement of EU consumer rules.

The cooperation is applicable to consumer rules covering various areas, such as the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Consumer Rights Directive or the Sales and Guarantee Directive. Under the CPC framework, authorities regularly review issues of common concern for consumer protection in the Single Market and coordinate their market surveillance and eventual enforcement actions. The Commission facilitates the exchange of information among authorities and their coordination.

More generally, when a car manufacturer breaks EU rules on type approval, the Member State that has approved the car type needs to do two things: order remedial measures such as recalls to ensure that all cars concerned are brought into conformity with the law; and apply effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties against the car manufacturer.

The Commission regularly publishes a progress overview on the level of recalls related to NOx emissions. It is following Member States’ enforcement of these rules very closely and has opened a number of infringements, including against Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and the United Kingdom with regard to Volkswagen Group.

The Commission also prompted a fundamental overhaul of EU type approval rules. As a result, from September 2020, the Commission will be able to order EU-wide recalls and impose administrative penalties on manufacturers or technical services of up to €30,000 per non-compliant car.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

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

The increasing drug prices in Europe

The power of trust and values in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, during a recent press conference in Brussels / Berlaymont. (Copyright: EU, 2018 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart)

EU opens investigation into Qatar Petroleum over potentially restrictive gas contracts

Germany not famous for easy way outs from political stalemates

Horse meat runs faster than authorities…

Is the English language too powerful?

3 reasons all countries should embrace the Global Compact for Migration

EU Ambassadors in the EP: a multilateral approach to global challenges needed

Multilateralism more vital than ever, as World War centenary looms: Security Council

What our leaders hide from us

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

China hails human rights progress amid calls to close detention camps

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

Yemen parties underscore ‘strong desire’ for peace, UN Envoy reports

David Attenborough: The planet can’t cope with overpopulation

EU Council: Private web data to be protected by…abusers

These are the cities with the biggest carbon footprints

My ‘’cultural’’ contacts with China

Austria’s EU Presidency: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz aims to “build bridges”

Russia and the West use the same tactics to dismember Ukraine

A renewed agenda for Research and Innovation: Europe’s chance to shape the future

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

The key takeaways of G7 Summit in Canada

The Bank of China at European Business Summit 2015

IMF to teach Germany a Greek lesson

Afghanistan: Civilian casualties caused by IEDs has reached ‘extreme levels’, UN warns

China repels EU allegations of export subsidies

Are ECB’s €500 billion enough to revive Eurozone? Will the banks pass it to the real economy?

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

When it comes to envirotech adoption, NGOs can lead us out of the woods

The EU Diplomacy in North Korea promotes peace or war?

UN-based World Summit Award (WSA) presents its master list on digital innovation with impact on society from 24 countries

Matthias in Canada

A Sting Exclusive: “The competitiveness of Europe depends on a digital single market”, EPP President Joseph Daul highlights live from European Business Summit 2015

How bad is the Eurozone economy? The ECB thinks too bad

UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

UN sounds alarm as Venezuelan refugees and migrants passes three million mark

More taxpayers’ money for the banks

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

Overseas investment falling, developing countries largely unscathed: UN trade agency

The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

MasterCard @ MWC14: Innovation in times of regulatory uncertainty

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Fears for food security and the future of farming families, as Fall Armyworm spreads to Asia

Restoring government control across Central African Republic is ‘key’ to lasting peace, stability – UN envoy

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

The West and Russia impose a new order on the world

Rehn ready to sacrifice part of the real economy

The EU accuses Russia of bullying Ukraine to change sides

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Gender Equality as a platform to improve Medicine

5 ways to make your organization a great sustainability partner

EU Commission spends billions without achieving targets

Commissioner sings “Volar-e” but the European driver no “Cantar-e”

EU-US trade deal: Europe to Americanize its social model?

The global liberal order is in trouble – can it be salvaged, or will it be replaced?

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