German push for Volkswagen damages gains momentum

Hundreds of people a week are joining a collective action against Volkswagen that already includes 60,000 consumers, German newspaper Rheinische Post reported Thursday citing the lawyer leading the effort.

"The consistent interest shows that Volkswagen customers will continue to demand damages and are not satisfied by the compensation offered," Julius Reiter said in relation to VW's efforts to placate customers after it emerged some of its models used emissions-rigging software.

Reiter is part of a Dusseldorf-based law firm that has created a foundation in the Netherlands to collectively push for damages because German law doesn't allow for class actions.

He told the newspaper that Volkswagen was doing less to placate European consumers than their US counterparts because Germany's motor vehicles authority had already approved proposals to remedy the engines affected by software that intentionally deceives emissions tests.

A meeting on Wednesday between Volkswagen's chief executive Matthias Mueller and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yielded little agreement on a fix for the diesel engines sold to US customers.

Mueller met with EPA chief Gina McCarthy in Washington to discuss potential remedies after regulators on Tuesday rejected the carmarker's plan to recall some of its most popular models that used the software.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) rejected the proposals on the basis that Volkswagen failed to submit "an approvable recall plan to bring the vehicles into compliance and reduce pollution," the EPA said on Tuesday.

Some 580,000 cars with diesel engines sold in the US carried the so-called defeat device that changed emissions readings when it sensed the car was undergoing testing.

Volkswagen is pushing for a recall and compensation programme that will placate US lawmakers, regulators and consumers in what could be the most expensive scandal in automotive history.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25
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