The report also criticises the Government for being far too slow to act, and says it should investigate and consider prosecuting Volkswagen for the use of defeat devices in its vehicles. The Committee has called upon the Department for Transport to ensure that car owners are not out of pocket in any way as a result of the emissions scandal or Volkswagen’s fixes to affected vehicles.
The report comes off the back of our calls for action from the UK Government. Earlier in the year, Richard Lloyd called for the Government to stand up for UK consumers and take action when giving evidence to the Committee’s inquiry. He also shared findings from our investigations on fuel emissions and views from our affected supporters.
Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Louise Ellman MP, today said:
‘Volkswagen Group has acted cynically to cheat emissions tests which exist solely to protect human health. Volkswagen’s evidence to us was just not credible but the Government has lacked the will to hold VW accountable for its actions. There is a real danger that VW will be able to get away with cheating emissions tests in Europe if regulators do not act.
‘Vehicle owners have been refused goodwill payments. That is despite VW inflicting a great deal of uncertainty on its own customers along with the prospect of declining residual values and the inconvenience of having to undergo repairs.’
Alex Neill, our Director of Policy and Campaigns, said:
‘Today's findings from the Transport Committee echo what UK consumers have been saying since the scandal was first uncovered. VW drivers have been treated unfairly and the Department of Transport has not done enough to hold VW to account.
‘The lack of action sends a message that companies who employ underhand tactics can get away with it. The new Transport Secretary must urgently get to grips with this issue and ensure that UK customers are treated fairly.’
If you agree that the Transport Secretary must urgently take action, please sign our petition.
The European Parliament today passed a resolution calling for improved EU emissions testing and supporting thorough investigation of the possible emission testing fraud.
After the Volkswagen emissions scandal, this is a step in the right direction, showing a strong will to restore consumers' confidence.
This resolution now puts additional pressure on the European Commission to better protect people against misleading fuel and emissions claims.
In particular, the resolution calls for:
- Real world tests to supplement laboratory testing, not only for air pollutants but also CO2 (and in turn fuel consumption);
- Conformity testing of production and in-use vehicles;
- Fuel consumption figures provided to consumers to be based on real world driving performance and not laboratory based findings;
- For further EU oversight of the type approval process and to consider the establishment of an EU wide surveillance authority;
- A robust EU-wide coordinated investigation into vehicle test manipulation;
- For consumers to be compensated when they have been misled and wrong-doing is confirmed
The resolution echoes many of our campaign asks and we'll continue to engage at EU level to ensure that misleading fuel claims are a thing of the past.
Volkswagen has come under fire for cheating official car pollution tests in the US and Europe.
VW has admitted rigging environmental tests. The scheme was discovered by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which noticed discrepancies in results of laboratory and real-world testing of diesel Volkswagen cars in Europe. ICCT then tested the cars’ actual emissions in real-world driving in the US. To their surprise the pattern was repeated – while the cars passed lab tests performed by the California Air Resources Board, they failed the real-world tests.
So what was going on? Well, Volkswagen managed to artificially lower its tailpipe emissions by using a ‘defeat device’. This allowed Volkswagen to hide the fact that its diesel cars produce pollution up to 40 times the legal limit.
Volkswagen has said that 11 million of its diesel cars are affected worldwide, with models such as the Golf, Passat and Audi A3 included. The company has set aside €6.5bn to deal with the cost of the scandal.
Read more information on how VW rigged car tests.
Car makers claiming figures that are unachievable in real life isn’t news to us. We’ve repeatedly shown that their miles per gallon these claims very frequently miss their mark.
That’s why we’re calling for a new, more stringent fuel economy test to be put into place so that you can once again trust the official figures you see when purchasing a car. Sign our petition to back us.