EU seeks to coordinate consumer action against Volkswagen over Dieselgate

Mon Sep 5, 2016 1:49pm EDT
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BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Commission will meet consumer groups this week to make sure they are doing enough to seek compensation for European drivers affected by Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) cheating of diesel emissions tests.

Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova told a news conference on Monday the "Dieselgate" scandal was a pan-European Union challenge and the Commission was assessing whether there had been breaches of two sets of rules that apply across the bloc.

They are the Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive - which prohibits companies from touting exaggerated environmental claims in their sales pitches - and the Unfair Commercial Practises Directive, both of which apply across the EU.

"(They) set high standards for all the member states to enforce in case these rules are breached. It seems to be the case in so-called Dieselgate," Jourova said.

Consumer groups and national authorities gave feedback in recent weeks showing that Volkswagen had not provided sufficient information to consumers, she said.

Volkswagen said it considered the allegations of the EU Consumer Commissioner unfounded and rejected them.

"Notwithstanding, in the meantime we are in regular and constructive dialogue with the Brussels authorities and institutions," Volkswagen said in a statement.

Jourova plans to meet consumer associations this Thursday and national protection agencies on Sept. 29, as well as Volkswagen on an unspecified date.

"It is not my intention to come with strong action without fair communication with the company," she said. "I cannot say I am going to take a stricter approach. I want them to look at the valid legislation and see what they have to do."   Continued...

A Volkswagen logo adorns a sign outside a dealership for the German automaker located in the Sydney suburb of Artarmon, Australia, October 3, 2015.   REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo