VW found to be in breach of consumer protection directives.

The European Commission has found that Volkswagen’s cheating on emissions tests has put the automaker in breach of consumer protection laws in 20 European Union countries, Automotive News Europe reports.

EU Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova told a news conference that the Commission was considering whether Volkswagen had broken two sets of rules by cheating on emissions tests and inaccurately reporting its cars’ emissions levels.

The rules VW could have broken are the Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, and the Unfair Commercial Practises Directives. The former bans companies from inflating their environmental credentials, while the latter prohibits them from making a profit by doing so.

Jourova will meet with consumer associations, national consumer protection agencies, and VW itself later this month to discuss the situation. She said: “It is not my intention to come with strong action without fair communication with the company. I cannot say I am going to take a stricter approach. I want them to look at the valid legislation and see what they have to do.”

VW is facing pressure from European consumer groups and EU Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska to compensate the 8.5 million owners of VW Group cars with emissions cheating software in the EU. The company has so far resisted those calls, despite offering compensation to the 475,000 affected owners in the United States. VW argues that different laws in the EU and a recall to fix the problem mean pay-outs are not necessary.

According to VW, there is no basis for the new allegations. However, it released a statement that said: “Notwithstanding, in the meantime we are in regular and constructive dialogue with the Brussels [EU] authorities and institutions.”

The EU will leave individual member states to pursue action against VW, but will seek enforce EU laws if it is deemed necessary to do so.

Source: Automotive News Europe