Although no UK authority has publicly acknowledged an investigation, the Transport Select Committee have been taking a keen interest in the matter. Various individuals, including the Managing Director of Volkswagen Group UK, Paul Willis, gave evidence before the committee on 12 October 2015. This was followed by a letter sent by Louise Ellman MP, the Chair of the Transport Committee, to Mr Willis on 20 October 2015 requesting further information.
Relations seem to have soured since October. In a letter dated 7 December 2015, Ms Ellman expressed her disappointment at previous questions being only partially answered.
The most intriguing question is number seven:
- Please provide a list of all other investigations by regulatory authorities worldwide.
The letter requests a response by 21 December 2015. Perhaps the response will reveal whether Volkswagen is facing a criminal investigation in the UK.
In the meantime, two further developments in Europe have occurred this week.
- It has been reported that the EU’s anti-fraud agency, OLAF, is investigating whether Volkswagen misused loans provided by the European Investment Bank.
- The European Parliament has set up an inquiry committee to investigate breaches of EU rules on car emission tests and alleged failures by EU member states and the European Commission to enforce EU standards. The committee will present an interim report within 6 months, and a final report within 12 months, of starting its work.