We’ve surveyed more than 2,000 VW diesel owners – nine in ten think people affected by the scandal should be compensated. And yet, Volkswagen has so far failed to announce redress.
What’s most important to you when you buy a car? Well, when we asked VW owners, 96% said fuel efficiency and 90% the environmental impact. These are both areas that have been undermined by the scandal involving ‘defeat devices’ that were fitted to diesels.
The scandal has had such a big effect on VW car owners, that over half would now be put off buying a VW diesel car in the future.
Diane felt she bought her VW under false pretenses:
‘What they said at purchase point influenced my decision to purchase, and had I had the full facts, I never would have done so. Categorically not. I want it recalled and offered an alternative car.’
Letters from Volkswagen
I know lots of you have received letters from VW now, which point you to a website where you see updates. The fact that the company is contacting affected owners is great, but the letters are short on detail. There’s also still no mention of redress.
When quizzed by the Government’s transport committee on Monday, VW’s UK boss Paul Willis refused to confirm whether they’d compensate customers, saying it was ‘too premature to talk about loss of value’. He also said that a recall might not happen until the new year, despite more than a million UK cars being affected.
Anne told us she’s really worried about the re-sale value of her two cars:
‘This is the first time we have ever been able to afford new cars and sadly both of our new cars are affected. I’m really worried about the re-sale value now and feel we’ll need to hang onto these cars forever so that we don’t lose out too much. The environmental impact concerns me greatly too.’
VW must address redress
Today we’re again urging VW to set out a clear timetable for redress, and calling on the Government to closely monitor the car maker’s next steps to ensure recalls and redress happen quickly and easily. We also want assurances from the Government that it will prevent anything like this happening again
Do you think VW needs to address redress? Will you think again before buying a Volkswagen, Audi, Seat or Skoda car?
[UPDATE 19 OCTOBER 2015] – According to our second survey, the effect of the VW scandal has spread beyond just those affected to owners of other cars.
In our survey of more than 1,000 UK car owners, eight in ten people expect more car makers to be drawn into the emissions scandal. Only one in five said they think the Government has a clear action plan in place, and more than three quarters agreed that the Government should ensure new fuel tests are brought in as soon as possible.
We’re calling on the Government to quickly start an independent investigation into the scandal, and to work with the European Commission to bring in new tests you can trust.
[Update 14 January 2016] – VW’s UK boss, Paul Willis, has told MPs that VW will conduct repair work on vehicles rather than making payments to British drivers.
And yet, payouts are being offered in the US. In November 2015, around 482,000 US motorists were offered a compensation package equivalent to £693. Then earlier this week an announcement was made to extend compensation to cover tens of thousands of US owners of larger diesel vehicles.
Paul Willis said that the US is a ‘very different situation’ due to regulations which leaves it unclear as to whether the vehicles can be fixed. We don’t think that’s fair.
Our executive director Richard Lloyd said:
‘This is just not good enough for VW customers, when nine out of ten told us they thought those impacted by the scandal should receive compensation.
‘British consumers deserve to be treated fairly. We urge Volkswagen to reconsider its position, and we want assurances from the Government that it will introduce measures to prevent a scandal like this happening again.’
[Update 22 April 2016] – Volkswagen has announced that it will pay ‘substantial compensation’ to US car owners affected by the diesel emissions scandal. The news came in a California court, where the judge said that the settlement is expected to include an offer to buy back affected cars. The car maker and regulators have until late June to agree all the final details of the pay out.
Our executive director Richard Lloyd commented on the announcement:
‘Volkswagen’s customers in the UK will be angry about this news. People will not understand why a deal is being offered to US consumers when there is nothing on the table for the 1.2million owners affected in the UK.
‘Volkswagen needs to act now and set out what they will do for their UK customers.’
[Update 28 June 2016]– Volkswagen will pay out £11bn to settle the diesel emissions scandal in the US. The terms of the settlement were revealed today in the US District Court in San Francisco. It’s been agreed that VW will pay over £7.5bn to either purchase the cheating vehicles or pay for repairs, and owners of around 10,000 VWs will receive £7,500 in compensation. A further £2bn will be paid to the US government for environmental mitigation. The company will also pay £1.5bn for research into zero-emissions vehicles.
Our Director of Policy and Campaigns, Alex Neill, commented on the announcement:
‘Volkswagen customers in the UK will rightly question why a deal is being offered to US consumers when there is nothing on the table for the 1.2 million owners affected in this country.
‘VW must not be let off the hook, the Government should intervene and stand up for UK consumers.’
If you think UK VW owners should also receive compensation, join almost 80,000 others by signing our petition.