Image shows VW Beetle car on a beach

German VW fine means all emissions cheats on the hook

Car maker Volkswagen has been fined €1bn by German prosecutors for emissions cheating. The fine is one of the largest ever imposed by German authorities against a company.

All emissions cheats on the hook

ClientEarth clean air lawyer Ugo Taddei said: “This has been a long time coming. Industry must pay for breaking the laws – and making Volkswagen accountable is just the start. It’s become evident that emissions cheating is an industry-wide issue and it’s high time for authorities all across Europe to start imposing fines. All emissions cheats in the auto industry are on the hook.

“Car manufacturers’ manipulation of emissions tests has left German courts with no option other than to order diesel bans. Now, the political embarrassment caused by the ongoing emissions scandal has finally forced the first fines in Europe against Volkswagen. We hope that this is a sign that people’s health will now be put before industry interests.

“Under legal pressure from the EU and its own courts, we expect to see the German government come up with credible policies that look to take the country beyond damaging diesel vehicles and onto cleaner transport.

“Merkel and Scheuer must lead from the top and ensure that manufacturers not only pay fines, but also carry out hardware retrofits to help clean up the air in Germany – people have been waiting for far too long.”

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Tom Arrowsmith