EU sues Germany, UK over VW emission scandal
The European Union started legal action Thursday against seven countries including Germany and the UK for failing to take action against carmakers for emissions test cheating.
The countries failed to impose the same kind of penalties the car maker faced in the US after the Volkswagen diesel scandal in Europe, the EU officials said.
EU also accused Germany and the UK for refusing to share details on breaches of EU emissions laws uncovered in national investigations this year.
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“It is embarrassment after embarrassment for the UK Government on air pollution. It has lost two court cases in two years defending its inaction. It may now face a third,” ClientEarth clean air lawyer Alan Andrews was quoted by The Independent as saying.
“Legal action like this is not a common occurrence. It shows the Commission thinks the UK has been far too timid in taking on the car industry over this scandal,” Andrews added.
The latest move is reportedly the first step, known as infringement procedures, allowing the EU to ensure the bloc’s 28 nations abide by agreed EU-wide regulations, Reuters reported. It also a is a sign that the EU executive is keen to prove its worth to voters.
“Germany is the only European country to have implemented a comprehensive list of measures to prevent unauthorized use of defeat devices,” said German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt while responding to EU’s decision.
Volkswagen remains the subject of several criminal and regulatory inquiries after it revealed last year that the car manufacturer had used illegal software to mask emission of dangerous nitrogen oxides (NOx) on tests.
WV has consistently refused to pay compensation to owners in the EU, while laws in the US have so far secured financial commitments from VW topping $15bn.