VW Golf GTD-20

Volkswagen might have more trouble to deal with if this goes through. According to a Reuters report, a committee of lawmakers has urged Britain to consider prosecuting VW over the “dieselgate” emissions scandal, accusing the government of being too slow to decide whether Wolfsburg broke the law.

Europe’s biggest carmaker admitted last September to cheating in US diesel emissions tests, which led to the departure of strongman CEO Martin Winterkorn and a battering of its shares and reputation. In the UK, 1.2 million cars were fitted with defeat devices but in April, a British transport minister said the firm had yet to fix any cars. That contradicted VW, which said that it had started making some software modifications.

Earlier today, Britain’s transport select committee, whose conclusions are not binding on the government, said VW should be punished to avoid a repeat of the scandal. “Without proper sanctions against manufacturers that cheat, there is little to stop a similar scandal from happening again,” it said in statement.

VW said that it was working hard to fix all of the affected vehicles in Britain. “Close to 50,000 vehicles in the UK have now received the technical measure, a number which will continue to increase as further vehicles’ technical measures are developed,” the German carmaker said in a statement.

Volkswagen Golf GTD

Committee chairwoman Louise Ellman also called on Britain’s vehicle approval regulator, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), to ensure that the solution proposed by VW will not lead to increased costs for vehicle owners at a later stage.

“We are concerned that VW’s fix was developed at the lowest possible cost which might lead to increased costs for motorists down the line. The VCA must make scrutinising manufacturers for non-compliance and questionable practices its first priority,” she said.

Earlier this month, VW said that Europe won’t be getting anything like the US$15 billion compensation package that it is offering to US customers to as settlement for the scandal. CEO Matthias Müller was quoted saying that a similar settlement would be inappropriate and unaffordable.

“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.”