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Sadiq Khan demands VW compensate Londoners and TfL 21/11/2016
The mayor of London has written to Volkswagen imploring the car manufacturer to “fully compensate” the capital’s residents affected by the emissions scandal.
 
Sadiq Khan called on VW to reimburse Transport for London (TFL) some £2.5m in lost congestion charge revenue from vehicles that were not known to be contributing to the capital’s pollution levels.
 
It has been more than a year since the US Environmental Protection Agency said 482,000 Volkswagen-built cars were fitted with software that detected when the vehicles were undergoing official emissions testing and switched the engines to a cleaner mode.
 
The company, which makes models including the Polo, Golf and Passat, later admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide were fitted with the software. It set aside €6.5bn (£4.7 billion) to deal with the cost of the scandal.
 
In his letter, Khan said: “There is no excuse for the utter lack of action VW has taken in London since the ‘dieselgate’ scandal came to light.
 
“I want to see a proper commitment from them to fully compensate the thousands of Londoners who bought VW cars in good faith, but whose diesel engines are now contributing to London’s killer air.
 
“I also urge them to reimburse TfL the £2.5m lost in congestion charge revenue, which I will use to fund a new schools air quality programme that will reduce the exposure and raise the awareness of schoolchildren in London attending schools in the most polluted areas.”
 
It is estimated that the equivalent of up to 9,400 deaths occur each year in London due to illnesses caused by long-term exposure to air pollution, with 448 London schools in areas exceeding legal air-quality levels.
 
Of the 500,000 VW vehicles registered to addresses in London, it is estimated 80,000 are from model years 2009 to 2015 – those in which suspect devices were used.
 
The mayor has also asked VW for a progress update on their commitment to re-program the defeat devices in affected vehicles and the expected completion date.
 
Vickie Sheriff, director of campaigns at consumer group Which?, said: “Volkswagen’s customers in the UK cannot understand why US consumers are being paid compensation when there is nothing on the table for the 1.2 million owners affected in the UK. The government must urgently get to grips with this matter and ministers must launch their investigation now. VW simply cannot be let off the hook any longer.” (The Guardian)
 
 
PHOTO: Khan told VW there was no excuse for ‘utter lack of action’.
CREDIT: John Stillwell/PA.
 
 
 
 
 
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