Slater and Gordon 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:
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Slater and Gordon Lawyers are one of the UK’s largest and best-known consumer law firms with offices throughout the country. We are also one of the UK’s leading group action law firms having successfully concluded major and high profile group actions. Our experience allows us to more effectively act on your behalf whilst minimising costs. We bring together individuals & groups to create strength in numbers. Having Slater and Gordon on your side can make the difference and get resolutions to your issues. We have the experience, resources and the systems in place to handle large volumes of complex and less complex cases.
In order for a vehicle to be sold, registered and driven in the UK, amongst other things, it must comply with the NOx emissions 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 ;
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.