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VW Emissions Scandal: MPs to Question Volkswagen Boss

By National Practice Group Leader, Group Litigation

MPs are set to question the managing director of Volkswagen Group UK over the emissions scandal.

VW Engine
MPs will be questioning Paul Willis when he comes before the Transport Select Committee on Monday afternoon. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is also due to appear before the committee.

McLoughlin is likely to be questioned about the steps the government is going to take to restore public confidence in vehicle testing.

Volkswagen has admitted that certain diesel vehicles from 2009 to 2015 were fitted with software that helped them cheat emissions tests. The revelation came after the company was confronted by the US Environmental Protection Agency and California regulators, sparking a worldwide scandal that involves 11 million vehicles.

The Volkswagen group also include Seat, Skoda, Audi, and super car brand Bugatti. VW have admitted that models in all of these brands are affected.

Recalls for around 1.2million vehicles affected in the UK will start in January 2016 and Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller says that he is confident all affected cars will be fixed by the end of 2016.

As we currently don’t know precisely what the defeat device does, the technological fix that Volkswagen is promising car owners is also unknown. On Wednesday, VW stated that the fix would amount to little more than a ‘simple software update’, however today we learn from the German transport minister that 1.6 litre vehicles will need “an engineering modification that shouldn’t be expected before September 2016.” The minister said there are 3.6 million 1.6-litre cars in Europe.

Many car owners will understandably be worried about the risk of any devaluation of their vehicle, reduction in performance, or any further expenditure or penalty the fix may mean. Volkswagen have simply stated that there will be a 12 month repair window but this lacks the detail that may reassure car owners.

Slater and Gordon are investigating the possibility of a group action claim against Volkswagen on behalf of owners of affected vehicles.

If you are a VW, Skoda, Audi, Seat or Bugatti owner or Fleet car manager and you are concerned that your vehicle may be affected, please visit our Volkswagen Emission Scandal Legal Investigation page to register your information.

Jacqueline Young is Head of Group Litigation at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.

Commercial & Group Litigation

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