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British motorists to sue over dieselgate

Industry news

London – British motorists are launching a lawsuit that could cost Volkswagen billions of pounds over the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.

Ten thousand owners who feel they were misled into buying polluting cars are seeking £3000 (R50 000) each in compensation – a total of £30 million (R500m).

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That could soar to £3.6 billion (R60bn) if VW eventually has to pay £3000 for each of the 1.2 million cars including Audis, Skodas and Seats affected by the emissions scandal in the UK.

Volkswagen has reached a R250m settlement with 500 000 owners in the US, but the German car giant has offered nothing to motorists in Britain and Europe in a decision that has outraged drivers, MPs and consumer groups. At the same time, the Department for Transport has been accused of going soft on VW by failing to penalise the company.

The VW emissions scandal involved around 11 million cars worldwide. The UK class action surrounds the fact that drivers paid a premium price for what they thought were clean diesel cars. In fact emissions of NOx gases – a combination of the pollutants nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide – were far higher than the company stated.

NOx gas emissions are associated with, among other things, childhood asthma and are linked to 23 000 premature deaths every year in the UK.

People who bought the vehicles say they should be compensated for over-paying for a polluting car. Rather than offering compensation in the UK, VW is recalling all the vehicles involved for what it calls a ‘fix’. The legal case is being spearheaded by Harcus Sinclair UK for a consortium of law firms including Slater and Gordon.

Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair, said claimants "are angry and believe that VW might get away with it". He added: "They feel that they have been left with no choice but to take legal action. We have paved the way for consumers who trusted but were let down by VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda to seek redress through our courts.

"It is only right that UK car owners affected by the scandal have the opportunity to seek compensation. We have secured funding so that those affected can bring this claim against VW at no cost to themselves. The group action aims to ensure that, if VW is found to have misled consumers about the environmental damage caused by their cars, they are penalised accordingly so as to discourage this sort of behaviour from happening again."

Mr Parker said many people were still waiting for VW to modify cars more than a year after the scandal emerged.

He added: "Consumers are doubtful that the fixes will lower toxic emissions. But getting their cars fixed is not enough. The damage to the environment has been done." The key allegation is that Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda vehicles with 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 EA 189 diesel engines manufactured between 2009 and 2015 should not have been certified as fit for sale.

This is because, it is alleged, they produced higher levels of harmful NOx emissions than the rules allowed.

Lawyers will allege that the affected vehicles passed official emissions tests only because their engines were fitted with a ‘defeat device’ using cheat software which reduces NOx emissions under test conditions. Environmental engineers exposed VW’s cheating in September 2015.

MPs and consumer groups have been scathing over VW’s failure to pay compensation to motorists in Britain and Europe. Louise Ellman, who chairs the Commons transport committee, described the company’s stance as deeply unfair.

Monique Goyens, of the European Consumer Organisation, said: "Volkswagen’s global fraud is a scandal of unprecedented dimensions. The fact that VW refuses to pay compensation in Europe but is ready to pay in the US adds insult to injury."

Lawyers say VW has settled in the US because consumers and the authorities there are far more litigious than in the UK and Europe. The European Commission has started legal action against the UK and six other EU states, including Germany and Spain, for failing to penalise Volkswagen.

VW Group UK said it could not comment for legal reasons.

BRITISH motorists are launching a lawsuit that could cost Volkswagen billions of pounds over the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.

Ten thousand owners who feel they were misled into buying polluting cars are seeking £3,000 each in compensation – a total of £30million.

That could soar to £3.6billion if VW eventually has to pay £3,000 for each of the 1.2million cars including Audis, Skodas and Seats affected by the emissions scandal in the UK.

Volkswagen has reached a £15billion settlement with 500,000 owners in the US, but the German car giant has offered nothing to motorists in Britain and Europe in a decision that has outraged drivers, MPs and consumer groups. At the same

time, the Department for Transport has been accused of going soft on VW by failing to penalise the company.

The VW emissions scandal involved around 11million cars worldwide. The UK class action surrounds the fact that drivers paid a premium price for what they thought were clean diesel cars. In fact emissions of NOx gases – a combination of the pollutants nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide – were far higher than the company stated.

NOx gas emissions are associated with, among other things, childhood asthma and are linked to 23,000 premature deaths every year in the UK.

People who bought the vehicles say they should be compensated for over-paying for a polluting car. Rather than offering compensation in the UK, VW is recalling all the vehicles involved for what it calls a ‘fix’. The legal case is being spearheaded by Harcus Sinclair UK for a consortium of law firms including Slater and Gordon.

Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair, said claimants ‘are angry and believe that VW might get away with it’. He added: ‘They feel that they have been left with no choice but to take legal action. We have paved the way for consumers who trusted but were let down by VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda to seek redress through our courts.

‘It is only right that UK car owners affected by the scandal have the opportunity to seek compensation. We have secured funding so that those affected can bring this claim against VW at no cost to themselves. The group action aims to ensure that, if VW is found to have misled consumers about the environmental damage caused by their cars, they are penalised accordingly so as to discourage this sort of behaviour from happening again.’

Mr Parker said many people were still waiting for VW to modify cars more than a year after the scandal emerged.

He added: ‘Consumers are doubtful that the fixes will lower toxic emissions. But getting their cars fixed is not enough. The damage to the environment has been done.’ The key allegation is that Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda vehicles with 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 EA 189 diesel engines manufactured between 2009 and 2015 should not have been certified as fit for sale.

This is because, it is alleged, they produced higher levels of harmful NOx emissions than the rules allowed.

Lawyers will allege that the affected vehicles passed official emissions tests only because their engines were fitted with a ‘defeat device’ using cheat software which reduces NOx emissions under test conditions. Environmental engineers exposed VW’s cheating in September 2015.

MPs and consumer groups have been scathing over VW’s failure to pay compensation to motorists in Britain and Europe. Louise Ellman, who chairs the Commons transport committee, described the company’s stance as deeply unfair.

Monique Goyens, of the European Consumer Organisation, said: ‘Volkswagen’s global fraud is a scandal of unprecedented dimensions. The fact that VW refuses to pay compensation in Europe but is ready to pay in the US adds insult to injury.’

Lawyers say VW has settled in the US because consumers and the authorities there are far more litigious than in the UK and Europe. The European Commission has started legal action against the UK and six other EU states, including Germany and Spain, for failing to penalise Volkswagen.

VW Group UK said it could not comment for legal reasons.

© Daily Mail

BRITISH motorists are launching a lawsuit that could cost Volkswagen billions of pounds over the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.

Ten thousand owners who feel they were misled into buying polluting cars are seeking £3,000 each in compensation – a total of £30million.

That could soar to £3.6billion if VW eventually has to pay £3,000 for each of the 1.2million cars including Audis, Skodas and Seats affected by the emissions scandal in the UK.

Volkswagen has reached a £15billion settlement with 500,000 owners in the US, but the German car giant has offered nothing to motorists in Britain and Europe in a decision that has outraged drivers, MPs and consumer groups. At the same

time, the Department for Transport has been accused of going soft on VW by failing to penalise the company.

The VW emissions scandal involved around 11million cars worldwide. The UK class action surrounds the fact that drivers paid a premium price for what they thought were clean diesel cars. In fact emissions of NOx gases – a combination of the pollutants nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide – were far higher than the company stated.

NOx gas emissions are associated with, among other things, childhood asthma and are linked to 23,000 premature deaths every year in the UK.

People who bought the vehicles say they should be compensated for over-paying for a polluting car. Rather than offering compensation in the UK, VW is recalling all the vehicles involved for what it calls a ‘fix’. The legal case is being spearheaded by Harcus Sinclair UK for a consortium of law firms including Slater and Gordon.

Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair, said claimants ‘are angry and believe that VW might get away with it’. He added: ‘They feel that they have been left with no choice but to take legal action. We have paved the way for consumers who trusted but were let down by VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda to seek redress through our courts.

‘It is only right that UK car owners affected by the scandal have the opportunity to seek compensation. We have secured funding so that those affected can bring this claim against VW at no cost to themselves. The group action aims to ensure that, if VW is found to have misled consumers about the environmental damage caused by their cars, they are penalised accordingly so as to discourage this sort of behaviour from happening again.’

Mr Parker said many people were still waiting for VW to modify cars more than a year after the scandal emerged.

He added: ‘Consumers are doubtful that the fixes will lower toxic emissions. But getting their cars fixed is not enough. The damage to the environment has been done.’ The key allegation is that Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda vehicles with 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 EA 189 diesel engines manufactured between 2009 and 2015 should not have been certified as fit for sale.

This is because, it is alleged, they produced higher levels of harmful NOx emissions than the rules allowed.

Lawyers will allege that the affected vehicles passed official emissions tests only because their engines were fitted with a ‘defeat device’ using cheat software which reduces NOx emissions under test conditions. Environmental engineers exposed VW’s cheating in September 2015.

MPs and consumer groups have been scathing over VW’s failure to pay compensation to motorists in Britain and Europe. Louise Ellman, who chairs the Commons transport committee, described the company’s stance as deeply unfair.

Monique Goyens, of the European Consumer Organisation, said: ‘Volkswagen’s global fraud is a scandal of unprecedented dimensions. The fact that VW refuses to pay compensation in Europe but is ready to pay in the US adds insult to injury.’

Lawyers say VW has settled in the US because consumers and the authorities there are far more litigious than in the UK and Europe. The European Commission has started legal action against the UK and six other EU states, including Germany and Spain, for failing to penalise Volkswagen.

VW Group UK said it could not comment for legal reasons.

© Daily Mail

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