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EU looks to coordinate consumer action against Volkswagen

The European Commission is to fulfill consumer groups to make sure they are doing enough to seek compensation for European drivers impacted by Volkswagen‘s emissions scandal.

Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova informed a press conference on Monday the “Dieselgate” scandal was a pan-European Union obstacle and the Commission was examining whether there had actually been breaches of 2 sets of guidelines that use across the bloc.

The Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive prohibits companies from promoting overstated environmental claims in their sales pitches – and the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, both of which apply throughout the EU.

“(They) set high standards for all the member specifies to impose in case these guidelines are breached. It appears to be the case in so-called Dieselgate,” Jourova stated.

Customer groups and nationwide authorities provided feedback in recent weeks showing that Volkswagen had not provided sufficient details to customers, she stated.

Volkswagen stated it considered the accusations of the EU Customer Commissioner unproven and rejected them.

“Notwithstanding, in the meantime we are in regular and constructive dialogue with the Brussels authorities and institutions,” Volkswagen stated in a statement.

Jourova prepares to satisfy consumer associations this Thursday and national protection firms on Sept. 29, along with Volkswagen on an unspecified date.

“It is not my objective to come with strong action without fair interaction with the company,” she said. “I can not state I am going to take a more stringent approach. I desire them to look at the legitimate legislation and see exactly what they have to do.”

Jourova did not say exactly what that “strong action” might be.

The Commission has said it is for national organizations and authorities to pursue Volkswagen as they choose.

However it is also eager to ensure EU guidelines are enforced to the full, and has revealed with its big demand for back taxes from Apple that it will handle multinationals itself when it feels it can and it is required.

Jourova has actually been working with customer groups to push Volkswagen to willingly compensate consumers in Europe for its diesel emissions test unfaithful, as it has in the United States.

Volkswagen has promised billions of dollars to compensate drivers of the United States, but has up until now rejected calls for comparable payments covering the 8.5 million impacted cars in Europe, where different legal rules weaken the opportunities of winning a pay out.

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