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Volkswagen emissions scandal: an update

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It has been announced that Court action is now being taken against Volkswagen in respect of the emissions scandal.

Proceedings are being brought against Volkswagen, and its associated companies Audi, Skoda and SEAT, seeking damages as a result of the misrepresentations made to consumers. It is alleged that certain diesel-powered vehicles were fitted with an illegal ‘defeat device’ in order to reduce nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions and pass official emissions tests.

The vehicles affected were manufactured between 2009 and 2015 and were fitted with a 1.2 litre, 1.6 litre, or 2.0 litre EA189 type diesel engine. Details of whether your vehicle is affected can be confirmed by visiting your manufacturer’s website by clicking on one of the following links (the site will open in a new window): VolkswagenAudiŠkoda; or SEAT.

Owners of the models involved will be able to claim damages against VW. These will include damages for loss of value of the vehicle, the costs of remedial action and any additional fuel consumption, as well as damages for inconvenience, frustration, upset or disappointment.

Mention has been made in the press of an approximate figure of £3000 per claimant. Whilst this may be a reasonable estimate, it cannot at present be confirmed as an accurate assessment of the level of damages that owners may be able to claim.

The High Court has set a date of 30th January 2017 to hear representations from Solicitors representing all of the potential Claimants and will make a decision as to whether to make a ‘Group Litigation Order’ (known as a “GLO”). If a GLO is made, this will have benefit for each potential claimant, as it will likely reduce the costs of making a claim and speed up the overall process.  This is because a GLO will make provision for all of the legal issues to be dealt with on one occasion, rather than in each individual claim.  The solicitors for the defendants are currently opposing this.

At Jefferies, we have set up a dedicated team to help owners of the affected cars claim from VW and have had a strong response from people who are interested in claiming.

Until the hearing has taken place, however, it will be unclear how compensation claims again Volkswagen are likely to proceed. Once the High Court has decided whether or not to make a Group Litigation order, we will be able to provide a full update to our clients including details of how the likely costs of making a claim can be funded (e.g. no win-no fee, etc.)

For more information or to register your interest in claiming, email us on vw@jefferiessolicitors.com or call 0800 342 3206.

Published on 16th January 2017.