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London Mayor wants compensation from VW

By raccars Published

VW in the city

Sadiq Khan says VW should pay £2.5 million in Dieselgate congestion charges.

London’s mayor has called for VW to pay £2.5 million in missed congestion charges after the Dieselgate emissions scandal. Transport for London came up with the figure after calculating the number of VW owners with affected vehicles who claimed a discount to which they were not entitled.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said there were 80,000 VW engines registered in London with defeat devices fitted. These devices detect when a vehicle’s engine is undergoing testing and change performance in order to improve results. VW, the world’s largest car manufacturer in terms of sales, has admitted that around 11 million cars across the planet had the device fitted.

Khan is 'champion' for clean air

Speaking about the missed charges, Khan said that if you didn’t ask you didn’t get and he was asking as a ‘champion’ for both the city of London and clean air. He said that Londoners bought the VW vehicles ‘in good faith’ but they turned out not to be the clean cars that were promised.

Khan said that the city of London lost congestion charge revenue to which it was entitled, meaning that VW now has what Khan terms, ‘a case’ it must answer. The vehicles affected included the Audi A3 and A1, the Skoda Octavia and Fabia, the Seat Leon and Ibiza and the VW Polo and Golf.

VW has released a statement claiming not to understand why the brand's cars were being ‘singled out’ to pay pollution penalties when they generally perform well against other new cars in real-world, independent emissions tests.

VW contributing to 'killer air'

Khan has apparently written to VW calling on the manufacturer to fully compensate residents of London who have been affected by Dieselgate. He said that there was ‘no excuse’ for VW’s total ‘lack of action’ in London in the wake of the scandal.

He called upon VW to offer a ‘proper commitment’ that it will ‘fully compensate’ those people who bought Volkswagen vehicles in good faith, unaware that their diesel engines are actually now contributing to what the mayor called ‘London’s killer air’.

He also used the letter to urge VW to pay Transport for London the £2.5 million in lost congestion charge revenue, which he said he would use to pay for a new air quality programme in schools to raise awareness that London’s schoolchildren are being educated in polluted areas and to reduce this exposure.

It is believed that the equivalent of almost 9,400 deaths occur every year in the Capital as a result of long-term air pollution exposure. There are also a total of 448 schools in London which are deemed to be in areas where legal levels relating to air pollutants are being exceeded.

There are around 500,000 VWs registered in London and an estimated 80,000 of these are 2009 to 2015 models, which are those which may feature the software devices. Mayor Khan wants VW to offer an update on its progress after it committed to re-programming the devices and to inform him as to when the re-programming is likely to be completed.

The lowdown on the VW scandal

The Dieselgate scandal blew up last September after the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the US found that many Volkswagen diesel cars in the States had the testing-detection and performance-changing software fitted. The German manufacturer has since admitted that it had cheated US emissions tests.

The EPA said initially that 482 vehicles built by VW had been fitted with the ‘cheat’ software but Volkswagen later admitted that the figure relating to affected vehicles was closer to 11 million. The software adjusted performance during testing to reduce emissions.

VW was forced to set aside around £4.7 billion (€6.5bn) to deal with the aftermath of the scandal.

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