Volkswagen says it will not pay a £2.5m congestion charge bill from Transport for London, because all of its vehicles qualified for the greener vehicle discount.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently met the UK boss of the VW Group, Paul Willis, to discuss compensation for Londoners following dieselgate.
He had previously written to Willis demanding the carmaker reimburse Transport for London for £2.5 million he claims had been lost in congestion charge revenue.
However, a VW spokesman told Fleet News: “Volkswagen is clear that all of its vehicles which were affected by the NOx issue, and which benefitted from the congestion charge greener vehicle discount, did so validly throughout the relevant period.”
Vehicles qualified for the discount (which was closed to new applicants in June 2013) on the basis that their official CO2 emissions figure was less than 100g and met the Euro 5 standard. All of the vehicles affected by the NOx issue have retained their Euro 5 qualification.
Furthermore, said the spokesman: “None of the affected vehicles have had their official CO2 emissions figures amended, given that official CO2 values are not affected by the NOx issue.
“There is, therefore, no basis on which it can be said that Transport for London has lost any sums as a result of the NOx issue. No sums are therefore due in compensation.”
Volkswagen products continue to perform well in independent real world emissions testing.
Khan said: “I met with the managing director of VW to urge them to compensate the thousands of Londoners who bought VW cars in good faith, but whose diesel engines are now contributing to London’s killer air, and also to reimburse Transport for London for the £2.5 million loss of congestion charge revenue.
“Unfortunately VW made it abundantly clear that they have no interest or intention of reimbursing Londoners or indeed any UK customers who bought these polluting vehicles. They are also in denial over their responsibility to help clean up London’s filthy air and mitigate the damage their cars have caused.
“It is now nearly two years since the ‘dieselgate’ scandal and the Government must stop dragging their feet and urgently intervene. VW is making a laughing stock of the UK – the Government needs to demand a compensation package that equals the billions VW gave customers in America.”