On 7 September 2017, the European Commission and EU consumer authorities sent a joint letter to the CEO of Volkswagen urging the group to finalise repairs of all cars affected by emissions scandal. In 2016, after talks with the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, Volkswagen committed to repairing all affected cars by autumn 2017. However, despite the undertaking given by Volkswagen, EU consumer authorities continue to receive indications that many of the cars have not been repaired yet.
EU consumer authorities are urging Volkswagen to confirm, within one month, that all cars affected will be repaired, asking full transparency in this process, including a detailed account on what has been achieved and what remains to be done. In particular, Volkswagen should:
- inform consumers about the repair (providing information such as the precise and clear reasons why the car has to be repaired, what the repair entails, what can happen if cars are not repaired), so that they can make a well-informed decision;
- inform second-hand car owners and consumers outside Volkswagen dealerships;
- actively communicate the trust building measure, which gives consumers an assurance about the repair, to all those concerned;
- support car dealers in the repair process;
- confirm the timeframe in which all cars will be repaired. Should the repair process take longer than autumn 2017, Volkswagen should commit to extending the period for a free repair as long as necessary in order to respect its duty to ensure all cars conform to EU consumer law.
Commissioner Jourová said: “I am pleased to see that consumer authorities, as enforcers of EU law, are united in their approach concerning Volkswagen, and that they insist that our demands are respected. More than 8 million consumers in different Member States have been affected by the VW case. When there are pan-European problems like this, only by acting together can consumer authorities ensure that EU consumer law is respected everywhere in the Union. With today’s joint position, EU consumers can be sure that both consumer authorities in Member States and the European Commission are on their side and that any half measures will not be accepted.”