Volkswagen is not planning to pay any compensate owners of its vehicles affected by the diesel emissions cheating scandal.
In a letter to Louise Ellman, the MP and chair of the Transport Select Committee, published on 12 January, the car manufacturer said that it did not have any plans to compensate owners as it did not “believe that it is necessary to do so”.
Paul Willis, the managing director of the company’s UK operation, wrote: “As you know, compensation requires a fault which has given rise to some form of loss. That is [..] not the case here.”
He explained that Volkswagen, which has made payments to some of its customers in the United States, was concentrating on developing a technical fix for all of the five affected models sold in the UK. This, he said, would involve a “simple software update” or a “minor hardware change” that would take under an hour to complete.
“That being the case, in the UK, rather than offering a separate financial payment as a goodwill gesture at this stage, we think that, with the fix just around the corner, the sums available for such a goodwill payment should be spent on maximising the uptake of the technical measures among customers, and ensuring that it is done with as little inconvenience to them as possible,” said Willis.
He added that customers in the US would have to wait considerably longer for their cars to be adapted to meet C02 emission standards and that this had led the company to make goodwill payments to encourage loyalty to the group.