Belfast Telegraph

Ministers vow to leave 'no stone unturned' in bid to secure VW compensation

Ministers have vowed to leave "no stone unturned" as they seek to secure compensation from Volkswagen for UK motorists affected by the emissions scandal.

Transport minister John Hayes told MPs that he and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will travel to Berlin to discuss the issue with their German counterparts.

Mr Hayes said the car manufacturer was yet to fully meet any of the Government's four main demands on the issue: compensation, a quick retrofit for affected vehicles, a retrofit warranty and for VW to cover the costs incurred by consumers as a result of the scandal.

Earlier this week the company's UK boss Paul Willis told the Transport Select Committee that fewer than half of the UK vehicles affected by the scandal have been fixed.

He said about 470,000 of the 1.2 million vehicles fitted with software to cheat environmental tests have now been dealt with.

In the US, Volkswagen has agreed a 15 billion US dollar (£12.3 billion) settlement, but the company's UK boss said the company in Europe did nothing wrong.

Mr Hayes said he had once again written to Mr Willis to demand action on the Government's four demands.

"None of those things have yet been done to my satisfaction, which is why I have written again to Mr Willis setting out exactly what our Government demands are," he said.

"Not Government demands - demands on behalf of the people."

Shadow transport minister Richard Burden reminded Mr Hayes during transport questions in the Commons that he had promised to use a "steely fist" in his dealings with VW.

Mr Burden asked what that actually meant in practice, and Mr Hayes replied: "As I said a moment ago, I am determined to use every avenue to pursue the interests of the consumer.

"The Secretary of State and I will be travelling to Berlin to meet German counterparts to have these discussions - as I said, much of the evidence lies there where the tests were done.

"I have met the legal representatives of those consumers who are moving a private prosecution, yesterday I met them, against Volkswagen.

"I will leave no avenue unexplored, no stone unturned. My steely fist is now a galvanised steely fist."