EU fears VW diesel fixes could damage engines: Der Spiegel

Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:31am EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Commission fears steps taken by Volkswagen to refit polluting diesel cars may damage the vehicles' engines, the Spiegel magazine reported, citing unidentified staff at the European Union's executive branch.

Software updates carried out by Volkswagen (VW) could inflict greater stress on engine components, Spiegel cited a member of staff at the Brussels-based Commission as saying.

Commission officials are basing their concerns on feedback from experts at the "Vela" emissions laboratory in northern Italy, the weekly magazine said, without providing more detail.

The Commission was not immediately available to comment.

Germany-based VW denied its technical modifications would cause damage to the cars.

"The software update will have no adverse influences on (fuel) consumption or the durability of the engine and its components," a company spokesman said.

EU consumer affairs commissioner Vera Jourova has sought to ramp up pressure on VW to compensate European owners of rigged diesel vehicles and has asked the carmaker for guarantees its technical fixes will work.

"We need VW to guarantee, in a legally binding way and without any time limit, that the repairs will work and do not have any negative impact," a Commission official told Reuters on Monday.

Consumer groups and politicians in Germany have been angered by VW's refusal to offer compensation, noting drivers are stymied in many EU nations by their inability to file U.S.-style class action lawsuits.   Continued...

A Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel engine is seen in central London, Britain September 30, 2015.  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo