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As she's done before, European Commission commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska is saying she wants Volkswagen to treat all of its scandalized diesel customers in the same way. Bienkowska (pictured) said this weekend that whatever VW pays out to US diesel owners is what it should pay to diesel buyers in Europe. A report last week said that VW might pay between $1,000 and $7,000 per car to owners in the US, an amount that could add up to over $10 billion for the half-million affected diesels that were sold here. Affected, of course, means a diesel vehicle into which VW installed illegal software that was designed to trick emissions tests around the world.

VW admitted last year that up to 11 million vehicles could be affected. At even $5,000 per vehicle, that's an awful lot of payout money. $55,000,000,000, in fact. VW has said that it will fix the diesels in Europe but not pay compensation. Bienkowska disagrees.

"Volkswagen should voluntarily pay European car owners compensation that is comparable with that which they will pay US consumers," she said. "Treating consumers in Europe differently than US consumers is no way to win back trust."

This is a drum that Bienkowska has been beating for a while. Back in January, she wrote a letter to VW CEO Matthias Mueller that said that, "EU consumers should be treated in the same way as US customers." She has taken a strong stance against VW's possible "fraud" since the scandal broke in September.

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