VW jetta TDI US-spec

It looks like Europe won’t be getting anything like the $15 billion (RM60.4 billion) compensation package that Volkswagen is offering to its US customers to as settlement for the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal. VW CEO Matthias Müller was quoted telling German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that a similar settlement would be inappropriate and unaffordable, Reuters reported.

“We have a different situation here (in Europe),” he said, adding that while VW was on a solid financial footing, replicating the US deal in Europe would be tough for Wolfsburg to cope with financially. “You don’t have to be a mathematician to realise that compensation at arbitrarily high levels would overwhelm Volkswagen,” he added.

Last week, Europe’s Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska called on the carmaker to also compensate European owners of its TDI diesel-powered cars, saying it would be unfair for them to be treated differently from US customers just because of a different legal system.

Müller, formerly Porsche boss before he took over the VW helm from Martin Winterkorn, said he had spoken to Bienkowska in Belgium this week about his views. “In the US the (emission) limits are stricter, which makes the fix more complicated. And taking part in the buyback is voluntary (for customers), which is not the case in Germany, for example,” he said.

Because the US authorities want as many cars to be bought back as possible, VW also has to offer customers incentives, meaning the situation is not comparable, Müller explained. So, if European owners aren’t getting any compensation, it’s safe to count out every other region as well.