VW has stated that the usage of its defeat device is in conformity with European law. However, as a gesture of public goodwill, it will refit the affected vehicles. It is to be seen how much of this posturing will stand legal scrutiny, especially since a class action suit is increasingly gaining ground in Spain.
Volkswagen has stated that the usage of software in diesel vehicles to evade emissions rules is in conformity with existing European laws. Europe’s biggest car manufacturer aims to toughen its legal stance in view of possible rising claims.
With the majority of its vehicles registered in Europe, the European Commission has been pressurizing the company to compensate owners of the rigged vehicles in Europe.
However, VW has rejected such calls but is offering cash payouts to its car owners in the U.S., where it has publicly admitted to manipulate diesel emission tests.
Last month a Spanish court ruled in favour of a VW’s car owner leading to Spanish consumer lobbies urging other others to join a class-action lawsuit against the embattled company.
Fending off suggestions that its practice of installing diesel emission evading software in its cars has breached European consumer rules, VW has clearly stated that its practice is in compliance to European rules.
Volkswagen has spent nearly $16.5 billion in settlements costs in the United States.
“The software contained in vehicles with a EA-189 engine in the view of Volkswagen represents no unlawful defeat device under European law,” said VW.
“The efficiency of the emissions cleanup system will not be reduced in those vehicles which however would be a prerequisite for the existence of an unlawful defeat device in the legal sense.”
Despite this posturing, VW will continue to follow the order of Germany’s KBA motor vehicle watchdog and refit the affected cars.
“Volkswagen wants to – in the special interest of customers – cooperate constructively and cooperatively hand in hand with the regulators as well as with the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority. This intensive cooperation should not be burdened by a contentious dispute,” said VW.
The company has also denied the view held by the country’s Federal Environmental Agency that nitrogen oxides are harmful to human health and the environment.
“A reliable determination of morbidity or even fatalities for certain demographic groups based on our level of knowledge is not possible from a scientific point of view,” said VW.