Dieselgate: time to compensate all European consumers
September 2015: the Dieselgate scandal explodes as it becomes clear that the Volkswagen group has misled their customers for years by selling them cars that polluted way more NOx than they promised.
Conciliation attempt in Belgian court ends with “No” from Volkswagen
14 November 2022 Euroconsumers member Test Achats compelled Volkswagen in front of the Belgian court to urge them to finally start compensation talks to the benefit of Belgian, but also Italian, Spanish and Portuguese consumers.
Although the Brussels court compelled Volkswagen’s board of directors and CEO Oliver Blume to attend the court hearing in person, the Volkswagen group chose to answer by sending their legal counsel with a clear message: No, we don’t have any intention of compensating Belgian consumers. As a result, the case in Belgium will take its normal legal course with a hearing on the merits in May 2023.
Read more here.
Euroconsumers writes to Volkswagen after ECJ rules software used to alter car emissions was an illegal defeat device
15 July 2022 After the European Court of Justice ruled that the software Volkswagen used to alter the emissions from their cars constituted an illegal defeat device, Euroconsumers wrote to Volkswagen demanding they finally compensate Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian consumers affected by Dieselgate.
Read the letter here.
Volkswagen compensates British consumers affected by Dieselgate – Euroconsumers urges them to do the same for European consumers
6 June 2022 After Vokswagen chose to settle the Dieselgate scandal with some 91.000 British consumers, paying a total settlement compensation of around 225 million euros, Euroconsumers wrote to the car company to halt its discriminatory behaviour against Belgian, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese consumers and to grant the fair compensation they are entitled to.
Read the letter here.
Euroconsumers’ member Altroconsumo wins €200M class action lawsuit against Volkswagen
7 July 2021 Euroconsumers’ member Altroconsumo wins the Italian class action against the Volkswagen group which is condemned to pay Euro 3.300, plus interest, to each one of the more than 63.000 consumers who joined the class action. It is the largest class action won in Europe to this day.
Read the press release here.
On 22 February 2021, the Volkswagen (VW) appealed Spanish Commercial Court decision which found that VW used unfair commercial practices and condemned the company to compensate consumers for the Dieselgate scandal.
VW is once again demonstrating its lack of respect for its consumers, but also disregarding the core values of the EU: equal treatment for all consumers!
Instead of continuing to fight against a fair compensation for Dieselgate victims, VW should move forward and focus on the important challenges ahead.
Press release (Spanish) here
Euroconsumers’ member OCU wins €16M Class Action Lawsuit against Volkswagen
25 January 2021 The Spanish Commercial Court notified Euroconsumers’ member OCU that they reached a decision in OCU’s long-running legal dispute against Volkswagen (VW) in the Dieselgate scandal. The court found that VW used unfair commercial practices, and the Company must compensate affected consumers with an amount of €3000 per individual.
The decision in Spain is now subject to a 20-day appeal process by VW. There are additional ongoing class action lawsuits which have been launched by Euroconsumers national organisations in Belgium, Italy and Portugal.
Read the full story here
Letter to Blackrock and DWS Group
16 October, Euroconsumers announced it has reached out to two important investors of Volkwagen’s (VW) in its ongoing battle to fight for compensation for European consumers affected by the Dieselgate scandal. In the letter to Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock and Dr. Asoka Woehrmann, CEO of DWS Group, Euroconsumers asked them if they agreed with Volkswagen decision to not compensate all affected European consumers.
This letter comes on the heels of their firm’s recent votes to not approve several members of VW’s management board at its annual meeting. Blackrock, VW’s fourth-largest shareholder, has been highly critical of VW’s handling of Dieselgate and their current governance structure. This outreach follows our ongoing attempts at dialogue with VW.
Read the full story here
5 year Anniversary
18 September 2020, marks the five year anniversary of the Dieselgate scandal. In 2015, the public learned that Volkswagen (VW) had illegally installed software technology that artificially lowered nitrogen oxide emission readings in vehicles during the emissions testing process. This fraud has impacted consumers’ rights, public health and the environment across the EU and beyond.
The majority of European Dieselgate victims affected have, to this day, not received compensation. Ongoing class actions launched by Euroconsumers national organisations in 2016, in Belgium (Test Achats) Spain (OCU) , Italy (Altroconsumo) and Portugal (Deco Proteste) are pending.
Given the recent decision of VW to settle out-of-court with the German consumer organisation VZBV, we believe that all European citizens impacted by Dieselgate deserve financial redress and justice now and need to be treated equally, with the same respect as German consumers.
Euroconsumers has sought to engage in dialogue with VW. We sent four letters to VW’s Board of Directors (27 April, 22 May, 25 June); they finally responded by letter on 15 July 2020 that said the following:
“We would like to start by informing you, that all EA 189 type diesel vehicles have been, and still are, absolutely safe and technically roadworthy…having said that, we trust you will understand that we cannot accept your request to compensate customers in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal, in view of the on-going court proceedings in these countries. Moreover, customers have not incurred any loss or damage.”
This letter is not only false and misleading in its claims, it once again demonstrates that VW does not view all European consumers equally. Having largely benefited from the single EU market, with this behaviour VW is infringing its basic rules putting it at serious risk. VW’s unethical and illegal behaviour is not acceptable and the company should be held accountable before the law.
Euroconsumers will not rest until VW compensates all European consumers affected by Dieselgate. Accepting responsibility for their actions and compensating all European victims is the only way for VW to close the grubby Dieselgate chapter.