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Volkswagen issues rebuttal to C-Charge claim

Volkswagen has rebuffed claims from London Mayor Sadiq Khan that it should pay £2.5m to compensate for alleged lost Congestion Charge revenue following the ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal.

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VW has denied claims it should compensate for missing C-Charge revenue, saying that the CO2 emissions of its cars have not changed.

In a letter written to Paul Willis, managing director of Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited, last year the Mayor pointed to estimates that around 80,000 VW Group vehicles in London had been affected by the use of the so-called ‘defeat device’ and urged the group to reimburse TfL the £2.5m claimed to have been lost in Congestion Charge revenue. He added that the funding would be used for a new schools air quality programme and also called on the carmaker to “compensate Londoners who have bought VW vehicles in good faith”.

However, Volkswagen has responded to the claims, saying all its vehicles affected by the issue and which benefited from the Congestion Charge Greener Vehicle Discount did so “validly throughout the relevant period”.

The discount, which closed to new applicants in June 2013, was offered to Euro 5-compliant vehicles with official CO2 emissions figure of less than 100g/km.

A VW spokesperson added: “All of the vehicles affected by the NOx issue have retained their Euro 5 qualification. Further, 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.”

In response, Mr Khan accused VW of being “in denial over their responsibility to help clean up London’s filthy air and mitigate the damage their cars have caused” and reiterated calls for a compensation package equivalent to the one given to VW drivers in America.

Mr Khan also labelled the Daimler diesel recall – which has now been followed by similar action at Audi – as “deeply worrying” and said he would be urgently contacting Mercedes “and every other car manufacturer who discovers they have sold Londoners vehicles which produce unacceptable levels of pollution”.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.