Compensation Promised For All VW Owners Impacted by Emissions Scandal
VW Group chief executive Matthias Mueller has revealed at a recent press conference that the company will be giving compensation to every customer
Every customer around the world who has become caught up in the scandal involving emissions test cheating systems that were installed on millions of vehicles across its various brands will receive compensation.
He also said that the major recall which is occurring internationally in order to address the issues which are present will not result in drivers being able to tell the difference when they get back behind the wheel - nor indeed when the time comes to top up at the petrol station.
Mueller described the impact of the work which will be carried out as part of the recall as ‘negligible’ in the extent to which it will alter the way the vehicles behave on the road. And this is positive but ultimately unsurprising news which may or may not help to restore some of VW’s tattered reputation.
The news that it is not just US customers that are going to get compensation but those in the UK and elsewhere as well will be more heartening for those who have been troubled by the developments of the past three months. Although at this point the precise nature of the compensation package has not been finalised, and there may yet be monetary reimbursements as well as the existing promise that customers will get money off their next car if they decide to stick with VW.
At the same press conference, supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Potsch explained some of the events which led to the scandal, including the fact that the need to cheat the emissions tests was acted upon by a group of employees following VW’s decision to boost its presence in the American market a decade ago.
The regulations imposed in the US were too stringent for the EA 189 engine developed and used in many of VW’s flagship ranges to pass with flying colours. And as a result, the software to circumvent testing was built in-house. Potsch admits that a certain amount of rule-breaking of this kind was tolerated within the culture of the company at the time.
Both internal and external audits are being carried out to get to the bottom of how VW managed to get itself into its current predicament, and the firms responsible for carrying out the bulk of the work are next set to provide updates on their findings in April of 2016, meaning that there is likely to be a long wait until definitive answers are provided.
When it comes to actually carrying out the recall, the process will begin in March next year for the 2.0 litre version of the EA 189 diesel engine, with those vehicles equipped with the 1.2 litre and 1.6 litre equivalents having to wait until June and October respectively. In the case where a software update is all that is required, customers will only need to wait for half an hour while the work is carried out, but slightly longer sessions in the hands of mechanics will be necessary in certain cases.
The good news is that the values of VW’s vehicles have not dropped as a result of the scandal, according to CAP analyst Dylan Setterfield, but that does not mean that the company will not provide some type of monetary compensation in the UK. It may be pressured to do so because a deal including $1000 (£670) in cash, credit at dealerships as well as breakdown cover has been struck over in America.
Hopes are set on the compensation being finalised in the next few months, following the process of actually enacting it beginning in the second half of 2016 at the earliest. And VW owners will no doubt be sticking around to see precisely how this scandal plays out as more information is revealed.