Seven European nations to face legal action for failing to act against VW group

Automotive - Himanshu Gill - Dec 09,2016

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seven european nations to face legal action for failing to act against vw group

The EU has decided to take legal action against seven nations, including the UK, Germany and Spain, accusing them of failing to act against Volkswagen in the diesel emission scandal.

The German car maker is under scanner since it had suffered huge fines and recalled nearly half a million cars in the US last year, when it was caught using some ‘defeat devices’ that could hide true levels of emissions in the company’s TDI (turbocharged direct injection) engines.

There are more than a million cars in the UK that exceed the permissible limits of emission. Other European nations involved are Luxemburg, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Greece, as the EU said that they didn’t even consider the possibility of fining Volkswagen over potential violations.

As per the European Environmental Agency’s data, half of all the cars in Europe are powered by diesel engines that emit Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), causing pollution that leads to respiratory illness and the premature death of about 72,000 people per year. The US authorities had reached a civil settlement of $15 billion against Volkswagen and still has chances of facing criminal fines as well.

The European Commission has shown disregard and frustration towards European governments who are unwilling to take any action against Volkswagen over its emissions, as under the EU law, member nations hold the responsibility of overseeing whether cars meet emission standards or not.

Initial investigations in the UK, Germany and Italy have uncovered use of the defeat devices but have refrained to take any action. In fact, about 11 million cars in the world have the same software.

Shareholders have also made claims over the company in various countries since the scandal broke out. Australia launched a legal action against the car maker and an Australian group of institutional shareholders said they will sue the company for $2.5 billion.