Negotiations end between EU consumer authorities and Volkswagen

Under the leadership of the Netherlands, the CPC network of EU consumer authorities has concluded the so-called Dieselgate enforcement procedures.

The enforcement concerned Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda vehicles, in which the EA189 Europe 5 diesel engine, which manipulates the car’s carbon dioxide emissions, were installed. Negotiations were held with Volkswagen on the car repairs and their progress, the terms of the Trust Building Measure issued by Volkswagen, and on how car owners will be informed of the issue.

Progress of repairs in Finland will be monitored by the authorities

In Finland, the Consumer Ombudsman has been in contact with the Finnish importers of the cars in question, i.e. K-Auto Oy (formerly VV-Auto Group Oy) and Helkama-Auto Oy, and has followed the progress of the repairs together with the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (TRAFI).

The car repair situation in Finland was as follows at the beginning of May 2018: 94.7% of Volkswagens, 93.4% of Audis, 74.5% of Seats and 82.3% of Skodas had been repaired. Only Volkswagens and Audis have been recalled, whereas a repair campaign has been held with regard to Seats and Skodas. The German type-approval authority, the KBA, decided on the recalls. A total of 79.3% of the cars have been repaired at EU level.

In Finland, importers have sent letters to the car owners, recalling the cars for repairs, and are committed to repairing the cars. Owners of Volkswagens and Audis subject to recall have been informed that if the car is not repaired, this will be marked in the vehicle register and the car may not necessarily pass its next inspection. Emissions-manipulated vehicles have been repaired by installing a new software fix approved by the KBA.

Volkswagen is committed to continuing its Trust Building Measure until the end of 2020, by which time most cars, at least those owned by Finns, should have been repaired. On their websites, Finnish importers (K-Auto Oy and Helkama-Auto Oy) must also provide car owners with information on the terms and scope of the Trust Building Measure, as agreed between Volkswagen and the CPC network with regard to the enforcement process.

For example, if a car owner has a complaint about the completed software update, Volkswagen – in practice, the car dealer and/or authorised service company – should handle any further repairs and consumer compensation claims in accordance with the terms of the Trust Building Measure. According to Volkswagen, the majority (99%) of car owners have been satisfied with their car’s operation following the installation of the updates.

The conclusion of the joint EU enforcement procedures will not prevent national consumer authorities from conducting their own enforcement measures, which are still pending in several EU countries. In Finland, the Consumer Ombudsman and Trafi continue to monitor the progress of the repairs and the information provided to consumers.

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