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The Claim

An overview of our legal case against the Volkswagen Group

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What is the claim about?

 

Harcus Sinclair UK Limited is leading a claim on behalf of a group of affected car owners, whether individuals or businesses. The case is a response to the defeat device and the impact that it has had on Volkswagen owners.

Before you can buy a car it must pass various tests designed to ensure it is fit for use.  These include things like crash-testing and road handling but also, crucially, emissions testing.  These tests are the same throughout Europe.

The testing process relies heavily on the honesty of manufacturers: often the tests are carried out ‘in-house’ and only observed by independent inspectors. Over the past twenty years, the maximum permitted levels of various pollutants have been steadily reduced by a series of regulations known as the ‘Euro’ standard. Beginning at Euro 1, and ending (in all likelihood) with the current Euro 6.  The Euro 5 standard (introduced in 2009) included a significantly lower limit for the production of NOx by diesel vehicles than previous iterations of the rules, and it is these rules that Volkswagen breached.

When we buy a car, we trust that the information provided to us by manufacturers is true. It is clear to us (and to the industry experts that we have spoken to) that:

  1. an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system does form part of a vehicles ‘emission control system’;
  2. the vehicles were fitted with ‘defeat devices’ which allowed them to appear to pass emissions tests; and
  3. the vehicles did not (and do not) meet the regulatory requirements necessary to register and sell a car in the UK, because the levels of NOx emitted are considered to be dangerous to public health.


For further detail, click on the following:

Development of the software
NOx and diesel engines and diesel engines
Volkswagen’s response
Environmental impact

If you bought your car in Northern Ireland, Scotland or outside the UK please click here.

Our Law Firm

Harcus Sinclair UK Limited is a leading law firm which is focused on litigation and specialises in bringing group action cases on behalf of large numbers of claimants who share the same essential complaint. Based in London, the firm has a strong track record of delivering successful outcomes both in the UK and internationally.

 

Additional Information

In order for a vehicle to be sold, registered and driven in the UK, amongst other things, it must comply with the NOemissions limits provided in Annex 1 to the Emissions Regulations, both during official testing and in normal use. The legal rationale for this is as follows:

a) 
pursuant to Regulation 6 of The Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2009, an application for ‘first registration’ under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 will only be granted where, amongst other things, an appropriate EC Certificate of Conformity (‘COC’) is in effect with respect to that vehicle;

b) a COC will have effect only if the manufacturer is able to certify that the vehicle concerned is ‘type approved’;

c) by virtue of Directive 2007/46/EC - ‘The Framework Directive, type approval is dependent on matters including compliance with EC Regulation 715/2007 - ‘The Emissions Regulations;

d) the Emissions Regulations require compliance with Commission Regulation EC 692/2008 - ‘The Testing Regulations;

e) Article 4(1) of the Emissions Regulations sets out that manufacturers must ‘demonstrate that all new vehicles sold, registered or put into service in the Community are type approved in accordance with this Regulation…These obligations include meeting the emissions limits set out in Annex 1…’;

f) Article 5(1) of the Emissions Regulations requires manufacturers to‘equip vehicles…so as to enable the vehicle, in normal use, to comply with this Regulation…’; and

g) Section 42 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that in order for a vehicle to be driven lawfully on a UK road it must comply with, amongst other requirements, regulation of 61A of the Construction and Use Regulations 1986, which in turn requires compliance with the Emissions Regulations.

 

 

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Personal

For individuals who would like to join the legal case 

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Business Owners

For companies or commercial organisations 

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