By Mauro Orru

 

The European Union has called on Volkswagen AG to compensate all customers that have been affected by the diesel scandal across the 27 member states, in a move aimed at averting further years of litigation.

Consumer protection cooperation authorities, responsible for enforcing EU consumer protection laws in the bloc, said Tuesday that the German car maker had only agreed to compensate consumers residing in Germany at the time of the car purchase, urging the company to also reach out to customers in other countries.

"The CPC network welcomes that Volkswagen decided to settle with large parts of the consumers that were residing at the time of the purchase in Germany. It calls upon the company to reach out to consumers in all member states that are still seeking redress, in order to find appropriate solutions and to close this chapter avoiding further years of litigation," the CPC network said in a statement.

The announcement from CPC authorities, coordinated by the European Commission, comes after they concluded that Volkswagen's commercial practices related to the marketing of diesel cars equipped with illegal exhaust gas manipulation systems violated EU consumer protection law.

The diesel scandal, one of the largest frauds by a European company in recent history, resulted in Volkswagen pleading guilty in 2017 in the U.S. to settle criminal charges for around $4.3 billion. The company also agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of U.S. owners of Volkswagen and Audi vehicles billions of dollars in compensation.

The commission, the bloc's executive arm, said Volkswagen saw voluntary payments to European consumers residing outside of Germany as unjustified since affected cars have been altered to comply with legal requirements.

"There have been court rulings exposing Volkswagen's unfair treatment of consumers, and yet the car maker is not willing to work with consumer organizations to find appropriate solutions for consumers," EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said.

"As I wrote to the company last year, not only consumers residing in Germany, but all consumers need to be compensated," he said.

Volkswagen said its legal position "is unchanged and well known to Mr. Reynders."

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 28, 2021 11:05 ET (15:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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