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.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

UN health agency highlights lifestyle choices that can prevent onset of dementia, as millions more succumb each year

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

Baking The Galette-des-rois Of Egalitarianism

These are the world’s best universities for recycling and sustainability

Time to measure up: 5 ways the fashion industry can be made more sustainable

IMF’s Lagarde: Estimating Cyber Risk for the Financial Sector

Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by Transgaz to facilitate natural gas exports from Romania

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

How the world can ‘reset’ itself after COVID-19 – according to these experts

Coronavirus: rescEU medical materials dispatched to Serbia

State aid: Commission invites interested parties to provide comments on proposed draft Climate, Energy and Environmental State aid Guidelines

MEPs call for decisive action to fight inequalities in the EU

Emergency coronavirus research: Commission selects 18th project to develop rapid diagnostics

Safer products: stepping up checks and inspections to protect consumers

Humanitarian action: New outlook for EU’s global aid delivery challenged by COVID-19

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

Here’s how one business leader is tackling injustice: It starts with personal commitment

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

More countries are making progress on corruption – but there’s much to be done, says a new report

EU Parliament: The surplus countries must support growth

Commission launches the Fit for Future Platform and invites experts to join

The punishment gap: how workplace mistakes hurt women and minorities most

12 ways a human-centric approach to data can improve the world

The online junk information grows, but so we shall

NextGenerationEU: Commission presents next steps for €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility in 2021 Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

How do we upskill a billion people by 2030? Leadership and collaboration will be key

Europe fit for the Digital Age: Commission proposes new rules for digital platforms

Coronavirus: EU makes available additional humanitarian funding of €41 million to fight the pandemic

Feeding a city from the world’s largest rooftop greenhouse

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

Geographical Indications – a European treasure worth €75 billion

This new initiative aims to make cybercrime harder – and riskier – to commit

Children in crisis-torn eastern Ukraine ‘too terrified to learn’ amid spike in attacks on schools

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

Solutions for cultural understanding: medical students’ perspective

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

UN Human Rights Council stands firm on LGBTI violence, Syria detainees and Philippines ‘war on drugs’

Here’s what could happen to the global economy this year

Our food system is pushing nature to the brink. Here’s what we need to do

Parliament wants binding rules on common chargers to be tabled by summer

Guatemala Dos Erres massacre conviction welcomed by UN human rights office

Expanding the care for the quality of life and quality of death

Sanctions: Commission further expands Guidance on COVID-19-related humanitarian aid in sanctioned environments

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

A short history of climate change and the UN Security Council

How rescheduling debt for climate and nature goals could unlock a sustainable recovery

This app lets you plant trees to fight deforestation

Explained, the economic ties between Europe and Asia

EU Budget 2021 deal: supporting the recovery

Pandemic mental health: the urgency of self-care

State aid: Commission approves €1.25 billion German measure to recapitalise TUI

State aid: Commission approves €511 million Italian scheme to compensate commercial rail passenger operators for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

MEPs adopt greener funds for regional development and cooperation

Data is the oil of the digital world. What if tech giants had to buy it from us?

Coronavirus: First case confirmed in Gulf region, more than 6,000 worldwide

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

G7 Summit: President von der Leyen outlines key EU priorities

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

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