Legal challenge to T&E emissions withdrawn
A legal threat by a subsidiary of Europe’s biggest car maker, that challenged the legitimacy of the data in T&E’s annual reports on carbon dioxide emissions from new cars, has been withdrawn after being heavily criticised.
[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The threat of legal action came from Porsche Austria, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group and the company that has the rights to imports, distribution and sales of Volkswagen cars in Austria. Porsche Austria said the T&E report ‘How clean are Europe’s cars?’ was ‘unreliable’ and ‘unscientific’, and threatened legal action against T&E’s Austrian member VCÖ which had publicised the performance of Volkswagen cars in Austria.
The legal action backfired in public relations terms, as political representatives and other NGOs accused Volkswagen of trying to silence its critics. More than 1600 people signed an on-line petition supporting the VCÖ. Earlier this month, Porsche withdrew the legal action after the VCÖ agreed to state publicly that average CO2 emissions from the VW brand sold in Austria are 139 g/km, while the average emissions of all new cars were 144 g/km.
T&E’s president Ulla Rasmussen said: ‘The T&E car makers’ report was based on information from the European Commission that comes originally from the car industry itself. If the data is unreliable and unscientific, the car makers are responsible for that. What’s more, T&E has never received any complaint in the past from Volkswagen, and the report has been published annually since 2006.’