V.W. Emissions Scandal : More Developments in Europe

EU Consumer Commissioner Didier Reynders recently criticised the German carmaker’s unwillingness to act across the continent and said Volkswagen should set a compensation rule for all EU customers based on the average they had already awarded in previous cases.

“The Commission and EU consumer authorities [are] calling upon Volkswagen to compensate all EU consumers, also those residing outside of Germany, for having misled them as regards their vehicles’ emission standards,” [ source: euronews.com ]

In addition , as reported in the Court of Justice of the European Union press release No 162/21 of the  23 September 2021 , Advocate General Rantos has made the following determination:

a) the software at issue reduced the effectiveness of the emission control system in normal vehicle operation and use, with the result that it constitutes a ‘defeat device’ within the meaning of Regulation No 715/2007.

b) a defeat device which serves primarily to protect components such as the EGR valve, the EGR cooler and the diesel particulate filter does not fall within the scope of the exception to the prohibition, since the functioning of those elements does not affect the protection of the engine.

c) since an average consumer who is reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect can expect that the regulatory requirements are satisfied, the vehicle concerned is not in conformity with the contract of sale within the meaning of Directive 1999/44, even in the absence of specific contractual terms.

d( a lack of conformity consisting in the presence, in the vehicle concerned, of a prohibited defeat device cannot be classified as ‘minor’, even if, assuming that the consumer had been aware of the presence and the operation of that device, he would nevertheless have purchased that vehicle. Accordingly, the consumer is not denied the right to seek rescission of the contract under Directive 1999/44. 

If you  require further information on the VW emissions scandal and the litigation currently being pursued by Burns Nowlan LLP  please contact Stephen McGrath at 045  432382 or smcgrath@bnsolicitors.ie.

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