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London Mayor urges VW to pay £2.5m compensation

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on the VW Group to pay £2.5m to compensate for lost Congestion Charge revenue following the ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal.

London traffic

It is estimated the equivalent of up to 9,400 deaths occur each year in London due to illnesses caused by long-term exposure to air pollution

In a letter written to Paul Willis, managing director of Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited, the Mayor said he wants VW to reimburse Transport for London £2.5 million in lost Congestion Charge revenue.

According to estimates around 80,000 VW Group vehicles in London are affected by the use of the so-called ‘defeat device’.

The funding would be used to raise awareness and reduce exposure to air pollution at schools located in some of the most polluted parts of London.

The Mayor also called on Mr Willis to “set out the steps you will take to fully compensate Londoners who have bought VW vehicles in good faith” and questioned why a ‘buy-back’ option has not yet been offered to Londoners who own affected vehicles, such as the scheme run in the US. He also asked for details on what further action VW will be taking to mitigate the pollution caused by their vehicles in London.

Mr 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 school children in London attending schools in the most polluted areas.”

His comments follow last week’s Volkswagen announcement that it is to invest €3.5bn in e-mobility and digital services as it looks to transform the brand by 2020.

Mr Khan is currently running the second phase of his air quality consultation, which sets out detailed proposals for the early introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and its expansion, as well as proposals for an emissions surcharge on older vehicles.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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