The Volkswagen-diesel emissions scandal
In September 2015, news broke that Volkswagen c.s. had influenced the outcome of emission tests for years using cheating software. As a result, the emission values of diesel vehicles from Volkswagen have been much higher than legally permissible all along. That is harmful to the environment. But if you drive a Volkswagen diesel yourself, it is also bad for your wallet: reputational damage has caused the value of your car to drop. And after the software update offered by VW, your 'repaired' car suffers from technical defects, uses more fuel than before and still exceeds the European emission standards.
The use of cheating software is prohibited
The use of cheating software for the purpose of circumventing the rules, is prohibited. In December 2020, the European Court of Justice made it clear that the excuse of car manufacturers who say that the cheating software is necessary to protect the engine, is not valid. Car manufacturers who install cheating software into their cars for such reason, are breaking European laws.
“The judgment of the Court of Justice is an important milestone. Volkswagen has always emphasized that the cheating software it uses is not prohibited because the software would be necessary to protect the engine for example against wear and tear. The Court of Justice now has ruled that this argument is invalid. Car manufacturers who install cheating software in cars for such reasons are violating European laws.”
– Guido van Woerkom
Together we are strong!
The power of the collective: that is what we're going for. By uniting the voice of European consumers, the chance of receiving adequate compensation increases. Our ultimate goal: to ensure that the negative consequences of Dieselgate are not at your expense and risk.
How does the Foundation help me?
In December 2017, we started legal proceedings against Volkswagen (among others) in the Netherlands. Due to legal reasons, these proceedings are solely instituted on behalf of the 180,000 injured Dutch car owner. However, we also endeavour to protect your interests as a non-Dutch car owner outside the courtroom. For example, we regularly contribute to conferences (such as in the European Parliament). We also draw personal experiences from affected VW drivers, which we then introduce into our discussions with the various interest groups involved. We want to show that the emissions scandal has a huge impact on European car owners. We also want to come to a solution that tackles the issues that millions of car owners are facing every day because of the use of cheating software.
For non-Dutch car owners who also want to take legal action against Volkswagen, we work together with various partners in Europe, including a partner in Germany. Don't live in the Netherlands? Want to learn more about your options? Send us an e-mail. We would be happy to put you in touch with one of our partners in your own country.
Frequently Asked Questions
Diesel cars from Volkswagen, Audi, Škoda and/or SEAT with engine type EA189. Manipulation software enabled these cars to pass the emissions test. They were then allowed on the public roads with a forged type approval and a falsely issued CVO (Certificate of Conformity). And that is bad for the environment; once these cars are on the road, they emit more nitrogen oxide (NOx) than is allowed in Europe.
VW Verhandlung has been one of the Foundation’s German partners from the beginning. VW Verhandlung supports the Foundation’s European Settlement strategy. The Foundation has referred German car owners who wanted to litigate against Volkswagen c.s. (e.g. through participation the MFK) to VW Verhandlung.