FILE PHOTO: The Volkswagen logo is seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankurt, Germany, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski/File Photo
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A year and a half after the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" scandal erupted, the European Union is struggling to punish the Germany-based auto giant for emissions cheating and ensure customers are compensated.The Dieselgate scandal blew open when Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it installed software devices in 11 million diesel-engine cars worldwide that reduced emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides when it detected the vehicle was undergoing tests.The EU lacks the authority to fight VW. Day-to-day regulation of the auto sector, including approving new car models for the road, remains under the authority of national governments.Manufacturing diesel cars helps employ millions of workers across Europe -- either directly or indirectly.According to EU data, the auto industry employs a total 12 million people in Europe and accounts for 4.0 percent of the bloc's gross domestic product. Indeed, the European Commission, the executive of the 28-nation bloc, appears helpless against Volkswagen even after more than eight million of its incriminating vehicles made it to European roads.
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