In the US, following the disclosure that VW had cheated emissions tests, justice has been swiftly and effectively delivered. This is in stark contrast to Europe where VW claims it has not acted illegally, no penalties have been levied and no compensation has been provided to customers.
But the failure to penalize VW in Europe is the tip of the Dieselgate iceberg with an estimated 29 million grossly polluting modern diesel cars now in use, a number that is still growing. Over four in five cars that meet the Euro 5 standard for NOx in the laboratory (180g/1,000km), and were sold between 2010-14, actually produce more than three times this level when driven on the road. Two-thirds of Euro 6 cars (most on sale since 2015) still produce more than three times the 80g/1,000km limit when driven on the road. 69% of the dirty diesel cars were sold in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. These member states also approved most of the polluting diesel cars for sale.