Emissions and Vehicle Type Approval — [Steve McCabe in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 1:53 pm on 20th April 2017.

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Photo of Michael Weir Michael Weir SNP Chief Whip 1:53 pm, 20th April 2017

I was just about to make that very point. It is not within the power of the individual to take on these companies. It seemed clear to me from Mr Willis’s attitude when he last appeared before the Committee that Volkswagen would try to defend its actions, if it says it has done nothing wrong, which would leave the individual consumer in an impossible position. It will only be by Governments—not only in the UK but in other European nations—acting together and going after the company, and making certain that there is a compensation scheme akin to the one that has existed in the United States and Canada, to compensate ordinary victims of this scandal in the United Kingdom.

This is not an isolated case; there are other scandals in the motor industry. For example, there is the Vauxhall Zafira, which kept bursting into flames. The motor industry is an important industry in many parts of the United Kingdom and it may well become even more important as things progress. However, it must get its house in order, because if these scandals continue, there will be a great loss of confidence in many of these vehicles among ordinary consumers. I would ask the Minister to consider that and also to say whether he has discussed with other European jurisdictions the possibility of a joint and multilateral approach to getting a consumer compensation scheme to cover the European Union, or at least several countries together.