A damning, if not exactly timely, report on Volkswagen's "deeply unfair" behaviour.
On balance, we're fairly satisfied with the way Volkswagen has been prosecuted in the US. Sure, the ruling isn't perfect, but a re-engineering of affected cars and claims of a settlement repayment close to $15 billion are, on balance, satisfactory. In Europe, though, things aren't as rosy. Not only has Volkswagen ruled out compensating owners, but there are also reports that 'fixed' cars emit even more particulates than they did before. No surprise, then, that reports demanding more aggressive action against VW are now being published.
One such report comes from the UK's Transport Select Committee, which has leveled plenty of criticism at the way Volkswagen has managed the 'Dieselgate' controversy across Europe. The decision to deny all owners any form of compensation, for instance, has been deemed by the Transport Select Committee to be "deeply unfair," and explicitly stated that "it's not credible for Volkswagen Group to apologize for its conduct only to then deny it had done anything wrong." Though you can argue that this report should have been completed months ago, it's reassuring to see a government agency genuinely damning Volkswagen for the way it behaved during the whole emissions controversy.
The TSC isn't just miffed with Volkswagen. The report also finds plenty at fault with the way other government bodies and the auto industry at large responded to the controversy. The European Commission and the UK's Department for Transport, for example, were intensely scrutinized for not prosecuting Volkswagen as effectively as their US counterparts, and the TSC report found many instances where conflicts of interest arose - the Vehicle Certification Agency's joint status as an independent tester and an auto industry partner was concluded to be wholly "inappropriate" in light of the evidence suggesting the misleading of regulators and loophole exploits were happening on a "substantial scale."
The criticisms leveled by the Transport Select Committee don't end there. In fact, the report is so comprehensive that we'll let you read it in its entirety here (do have a flick through - the report's a genuinely interesting read). And it looks like the TSC has some support from quite a few politicians, as Members of Parliament in the UK are now urging the government to launch a full investigation. If the timeliness of the TSC report and other investigations like the UK's 'Chilcot Inquiry' are anything to go by, such an examination might take a while to appear. However, if the UK government does indeed explore the VW controversy further, you can guarantee we'll still be seeing 'Dieselgate' in headlines for months and possibly even years to come.