EU thinks Volkswagen drivers should be compensated

The company's emissions scandal is not going away...

The European Commission has thrown its weight behind calls for Volkswagen to compensate drivers who were sold cars under false pretences.

VW marketed its diesel vehicles as green alternatives - while its cars had been designed to fool environmental tests. The vehicles' emissions were actually up to 40 times legal pollutant limits in some cases.

EU justice commissioner, Věra Jourová will meet consumer protection authorities in Brussels today to decide on an approach to pursue further legal action against the carmaker.

"Volkswagen has breached European consumer legislation ... This cannot be without consequences. I will support EU consumer authorities to bring this to the next level," Ms Jourová stated.

She added that the process of communicating with the firm has been frustrating: "More than half a year into our dialogue, VW has not delivered on key demands from consumers," she said, adding that she is in favour of "some form of extra bonus or voluntary compensation for European consumers."

The German company could face a series of lawsuits in national courts across the EU. 

In the UK alone, some 10,000 VW owners are seeking £30m - or £3,000 each - after they bought cars which were secretly rigged to beat environmental tests.

Most of the affected vehicles were sold in the EU, the company has offered repairs for European drivers  - while VW owners in the US have received compensation. This has cost the company billions of dollars across the Atlantic.

The EU cannot take direct legal action against VW - but it may play a co-ordinating role as individual nations seek compensation for their motorists.

VW issued this statement: "The announcements made by the EU commissioner are incomprehensible and could deter customers from coming in to the workshops," referring to the repairs currently offered by the manufacturer.