EU: Volkswagen has largely completed Dieselgate action plan

Volkswagen has largely completed its promised recall and repair in Europe of vehicles fitted with cheat software to manipulate Diesel emissions test, the European Commission said Tuesday.

The German carmaker admitted in September 2015 that Diesel cars had been fitted with so-called defeat devices, which detect when a car is being tested, and switch to a mode complying with emissions standards.

More than 11 million vehicles were affected, resulting in a global scandal.

In the European Union, Volkswagen agreed to an action plan to ensure that all affected cars are repaired; that customers are properly informed; and that they do not suffer any inconveniences.

The repair rate is now reaching 80 per cent, the commission said. However, the figures vary from just 36 per cent of affected vehicles in Romania to 96 per cent in Germany, according to EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova.

The commission also flagged some shortcomings, notably complaining that the carmaker had not provided a full guarantee in case of problems arising after the repair, and that its conditions to access the repair scheme were too stringent.

Jourova said that Volkswagen’s mindset was to “think small,” in comments made Monday, before the commission published its assessment.

“This slogan – dating back to 1959 – was for their new line of cars, not for the attitude to consumers for a world-leading car manufacturer,” she quipped.

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