During the debate on the car emissions scandal in the European Parliament this afternoon, Finnish GUE/NGL MEP Merja Kyllönen called for citizens' rights, consumer confidence and the environment to be safeguarded.

“Volkswagen's actions are shameful and unacceptable, and a serious breach of consumer confidence and of EU environmental legislation. Some 11 million cars – and 11 million car-owners – are the victims of this fraud and European people will be greatly affected as citizens because of the very harmful health effects of the excessive air pollution, but also as consumers.

“The falsified results in emission tests have been reported to be up to 40 times the legal maximum. Volkswagen is by far the biggest car manufacturer in the EU market, with a market share of around 25%. The early analysis states that nearly 1 million tonnes of extra annual pollution might have been caused due to the falsified test results. These emissions could have a horrific impact in Europe, where almost half of the passenger cars sold are diesel.

MEP Kyllönen asked: “Is Volkswagen the only company to do this or are other companies involved? Did the Commission know about this?

“The European Union stands for the protection of European citizens and consumers. However, this massive fraud was revealed on the US market, proof that the EU monitoring system is weak. This will hamper the credibility of EU on the eve of COP 21.”

To conclude Ms Kyllönen asked Commissioner Bienkowska: “How will the Commission investigate 'the Volkswagen case' as a matter of urgency, and the compliance of whole European car manufacturing industry? And how will the Commission advance emission test requirements and improve market surveillance in Europe to ensure that the rights and public confidence of European consumers and citizens will be better safeguarded?”

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75

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