No compensation for British owners of VW cars in diesel emissions scandal


British owners of Volkswagen cars affected by the diesel emissions scandal will not receive compensation despite payouts being offered in the US because it is a "very different situation", the UK boss of the car manufacturer has said.

Paul Willis told MPs that the firm was "getting on" with conducting the remedial work on the vehicles rather than making payments to British drivers.

In November Volkswagen offered some 482,000 motorists compensation worth 1,000 US dollars (£693), and extended the goodwill gesture to tens of thousands of owners of larger diesel vehicles earlier this week.

When asked by the House of Commons' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee why this is not happening in the UK, Mr Willis replied: "Unfortunately the United States is a very different situation to Europe.

"We have a situation in the United States where at the moment it's not clear whether we have a fix for the cars.

"In the United States the regulations are different."

The California Air Resources Board has rejected VW's proposals for remedial work, and the manufacturer's chief executive, Matthias Mueller, is in Washington to attempt to find a solution.

"That's a completely different situation to the United Kingdom and Europe," Mr Willis said.

"With the KBA, the Germany federal transport authority, we have an agreement and we have a solution and that is what we're getting on with.

"So you cannot compare the two situations."

EFRA committee chairman Neil Parish responded by asking Mr Willis for his thoughts on VW's "lobbying power" and whether American officials were being "more robust" than their European counterparts.

Mr Willis replied: "Our company works diligently to meet the legislation that is put in front of us."

VW admitted in September that it had fitted software to engines in a bid to cheat emissions tests. Some 11 million diesel vehicles are affected worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK.