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Press release28 September 2021

Consumer Protection: Commission and national consumer protection authorities called upon Volkswagen to compensate European consumers

Visit of Natalia Gavrilita, Moldovan Prime Minister, to the European Commission

Today, the Commission and EU consumer authorities, working together in the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) network, issued a statement calling upon Volkswagen to compensate all EU consumers, also those residing outside of Germany, for having mislead them as regards their vehicles' emission standards. The Commission and EU consumer authorities consider that Volkswagen's commercial practices violate EU consumer protection law as regards the marketing of diesel cars equipped with illegal systems. They also state that the marketing of such diesel cars was a clear instance of a misleading practice banned in the EU.  Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: “Six years ago ‘Dieselgate' broke. Up until now, not all consumers have been compensated. There have been court rulings exposing Volkswagen's unfair treatment of consumers, and yet the car maker is not willing to work with consumer organisations to find appropriate solutions for consumers. As I wrote to the company last year, not only consumers residing in Germany, but all consumers need to be compensated.” To date, Volkswagen has only agreed to compensate EU consumers residing in Germany at the time of the car purchase. The German car manufacturer has informed the Commission and authorities of its view that voluntary payments to European consumers residing outside Germany were not justified since the affected cars have now been altered to meet legal requirements. The company's position has not changed despite recent EU and national court decisions which is why the Commission and EU consumer authorities are mounting the pressure. The letter in which Commissioner Reynders' asked Volkswagen for compensation in 2020 is available here. More information is available here

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Publication date
28 September 2021