Volkswagen emissions: UK and six other nations face legal action
8 December 2016
- From the section Business
The European Union (EU) has started legal action against seven nations.
Four, including the UK and Germany, are under fire for failing to take action against Volkswagen for cheating emission tests. Member states have two months to respond.
The German car giant has had huge fines in the US over its use of “defeat devices” used to hide true levels of emissions.
More than one million cars in the UK are involved.
Spain and Luxemburg are the other two nations who the EU says have not taken action against the company.
Another three countries – the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Greece – are being hauled up for not even including the possibility of fining carmakers over potential violations.
On top of this, the European Commission has also called Germany and the UK to account for refusing to share details of breaches of EU emissions laws they discovered through their own investigations earlier this year.
Industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said in a statement: “National authorities across the EU must ensure that car manufacturers actually comply with the law.”
Fines and claims
Under EU law, member nations are responsible for overseeing whether cars meet standards or not.
Investigations in the UK, Germany, France and Italy have uncovered the use of cheat devices, but no action has been taken against VW, which employs 120,000 people in Germany with almost 500,000 employed elsewhere around the world.
The company has agreed to pay $15bn in a settlement with US authorities and owners of about 500,000 vehicles after the software cheat was exposed, but so far European nations have taken no such action against the company.
About 11 million cars worldwide have the software.
As well as fines, Volkswagen is facing €8.2bn ($9.1bn; £7bn) in damages claims from 1,400 German investors over its emissions scandal, a state court has said.
Australia also launched legal action against the carmaker and asset manager Blackrock and a group of institutional shareholders said they would sue VW for €2bn.
The claims relate to the drop in Volkswagen’s share price after the scandal broke.
The VW group comprises 12 brands from seven European countries: Volkswagen passenger cars, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN.
This post was written by FSB News