German automotive group Volkswagen faces punitive measures from Brussels related to the diesel engine scandal (Dieselgate). Damages split among all customers globally.
Following the “Dieselgate” scandal six years ago, European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, has criticized the group for its “unwillingness”.
“It is our responsibility to inform European consumers that a firm is trying to avoid compensating them”. He urges the company to reach out to consumers in each of the Member States seeking compensation, to find the best solutions and avoid years of litigation.
Volkswagen could face a financial settlement of about 3,000 euros per vehicle. No estimate of the overall compensation amount has been provided. Reynders added that according to consumer associations, the number of impacted customers was 150,000 in the Netherlands, 400,000 in Belgium and 900,000 in France.
30 billion in losses
Volkswagen has already suffered 30 billion in losses as a result of Dieselgate, which has led to numerous lawsuits globally. The German company pleaded guilty to fraud in 2017 in the U.S.
The group admitted in 2015 that it had installed software in 11 million of its diesel vehicles. This software concealed emissions, sometimes up to 40 times higher than permitted. In Europe, it represents 8.5 million vehicles.
The European Consumers’ Organisation, which represents 46 associations, said they “expect Volkswagen to follow the authorities’ recommendation as soon as possible,”. According to them, the company would face a disaster if any other response were made.
As part of the out-of-court settlement in Germany, the manufacturer agreed to pay 435,000 owners of diesel rigged cars between €1,350 and €6,250, depending on the type and age of the vehicles.
At least 750 million euros are at stake, but the group also faces thousands of individual cases. The majority of the remaining disputes, about 60,000, were settled in May 2020 after Germany’s highest court ordered a partial reimbursement by the group.