By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 25 May 2022 • 18:38
Breaking News: VW drivers in UK diesel class action reach £193m settlement
The judgement handed down today, May 25, will see more than 91,000 VW owners in the UK receive a pay-out. The case goes back to 2015 when VW pleaded guilty to hiding the true consumption figures of their diesel cars.
VW settled in the US but declined to do so in the UK saying that EU law prevented them from doing so. The case in Scotland has however yet to be concluded, with court proceedings still at an early stage.
In 2020 the courts had found in favour of the Volkswagen NOx Emissions Group Litigation ruling that emissions-testing software, installed in diesel-powered vehicles that was designed to cheat emissions testing regimes, amounted to unlawful “defeat devices”.
Experts and the litigation group argued that the actual emissions of vehicles were considerably higher than those achieved under “lab conditions”, in what was the single biggest case brought before British courts.
Due to go to trial in January 2023, VW said that it had decided to bring the matter to a conclusion over fears of a protracted and costly legal battle. But in doing so it said that the settlement was in no way an admission of liability.
The company is to make a separate contribution to the claimants’ legal costs and other fees.
Ben Smyth of Therium, which funded the UK class action, told Sky News: “The settlement that was agreed by the claimant committee is a victory for affected car owners and the impact that this legal action has had on corporate governance on the one hand and the importance of access to justice for consumers on the other cannot be overstated.”
Announcing the settlement, Philip Haarmann, Chief Legal Officer at VW, said: “The Volkswagen Group is pleased that we have been able to conclude this long-running litigation in England & Wales.
“The settlement is another important milestone as the Volkswagen Group continues to move beyond the deeply regrettable events leading up to September 2015.”
Slater and Gordon, the firm representing the bulk of the claimants, told Sky News that it was “delighted to have secured such a significant financial settlement for many thousands of Volkswagen Group car owners.”
It added: “Settlement of the group action avoids the need for a lengthy, complex and expensive trial process, and achieves a financial result that is fair and right for all claimants.”
The settlement of the class action against VW brings to a close one of the longest and largest cases in UK motoring history.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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