German VW drivers face vehicle de-registration as company refuses London compensation claim

25 July 2017

German VW drivers face vehicle de-registration as company refuses London compensation claim

25 July 2017

According to reports in Germany, owners of Volkswagen (VW) cars affected by the emissions scandal, who refuse a recall to get their vehicle’s engine software updated, could face having their cars de-registered.  

The carmaker has issued a recall of around 11 million vehicles worldwide which were fitted with software capable of cheating emission tests. This includes 8.5 million cars in Europe, of which 5.5 million have been retrofitted, including 1.8 million in Germany. 

However, many drivers are mindful of the retrofitting process, due to reports that the fix actually causes further problems. A document submitted to the UK Transport Committee in April 2017 by the Volkswagen Diesel Customer Forum has highlighted the issues that consumers are finding after having their vehicles ‘fixed’ at dealerships. Problems reported include reduced fuel economy; diesel particulate filter (DPF) failure, excessive engine noise and excessive exhaust fumes. 

According to a report in Focus Online, citing Germany’s motor vehicle authority KBA, depending on when recall notices were issued, some VW drivers could have their cars de-registered as early as next month and would also have to pay any resulting fees. 

The fix is mandatory in Germany because the authorities declared it a safety recall. The de-registrations are therefore not completely unexpected. 

Meanwhile, the German manufacturer has refused a request by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to pay £2.5 million (€2.8 million) for congestion charge fees racked up by 80,000 vehicles affected in the emissions scandal. According to Khan, the vehicles qualified for a reduction in the rate of the city’s congestion charge due to their low emissions. However, with these levels in question, the Mayor made the call to ask VW to pay the amount that would be owed by the vehicles. 

However, VW has since stated that the vehicles complied with the terms of the congestion charge reduction and therefore no compensation is required. The company has so far refused to compensate any customers in the EU, where it denies cheating tests, unlike in the US. 

Khan comments: ‘I am disappointed by the utter contempt VW has shown for Londoners. Their appalling lack of action since the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal came to light must not be allowed to continue. The Government must intervene and demand a compensation package that equals the billions VW gave to customers in America.