Update On UK Consumer Legal Action Against VW, AUDI, SEAT And ŠKODANovember 2017 | Press Releases
London, 16 November 2017: VWemissionsaction, the UK consumer action group against VW, today announced that the next hearing in the UK legal action against VW will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, by Senior Master Fontaine on Monday 27 November.
- The next hearing in the UK legal action against VW will take place on Monday 27 November in the High Court.
- Close to 45,000 VW, Seat, Škoda and Audi car owners have joined the legal action www.vwemissionsaction.com against VW since January 2016.
- Over 1 million UK affected car owners have yet to join the legal action. Current and previous car owners of affected vehicles are being encouraged to join the legal action.
- The VW emission action group claim is being represented by Slater and Gordon lawyers. Harcus Sinclair UK Ltd, who launched the legal action in partnership with Slater and Gordon, is stepping down. Slater and Gordon is continuing to represent UK consumers and the VW emissions action group claimants in the pursuit of fair compensation for owners of affected vehicles.
- In July of this year, a survey was carried out of UK consumers who have had the fix carried out by VW. The survey found that over 50% of car owners reported problems with their car in relation to the so-called fix.
The legal action includes nearly 45,000 UK consumers who either own or owned an affected car including VW, Audi, SEAT and Škoda vehicles with 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 EA 189 diesel engines manufactured between 2009 and 2015.
The legal action being brought on behalf of the VWemissionsaction group by Slater and Gordon is being fully funded by Therium Capital Management Limited, a UK litigation funder. There is no upfront payment to join the legal action. Therium will cover all of the costs of the claim, through to trial.
David Strawson, The Chairman of the UK VW Emissions Action Committee, said: “This is a call to action. Taking legal action is the only way that UK consumers can seek redress and help to ensure that companies aren’t able to get away with this sort of behavior. We need to hold VW accountable for the damage to the environment and to our health caused by the high levels of pollution produced by these cars, and the deceit perpetrated on us their customers. The more of us who join the legal action, the more pressure we can put on VW to try and make things right. We are looking forward to the next hearing in November and progressing the case so that VW can be held to account sooner rather than later.”
Gareth Pope from Slater and Gordon said: “Slater and Gordon is currently representing over 45,000 VW Group car owners in the vwemissionsaction group and this number is growing daily, making it the largest consumer group in pursuit of fair compensation for owners of affected vehicles. Slater and Gordon’s principle focus is in giving claimants a collective voice and ensuring that they are represented and compensated for the deceit they have been subjected to following the discovery that VW was selling cars fitted with defeat devices. We will be persistent in our cause and urge VW to do the right thing and treat its UK customers in the same way that they have been forced to treat their customers in the USA and compensate owners of affected cars. Owners of affected VW, Audi, SEAT or Škoda cars can join the claim at vwemissionsaction.com and hold VW accountable for their actions whether or not they still own an affected car and regardless of whether or not they have had the ‘fix’ applied by VW.”
Mel Evans, clean air campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “More and more people in the UK are joining the emissions action to take VW to court - and they’re right to be angry with VW. In the US, VW has faced tough consequences for deliberately cheating emissions testing, but here in the UK it’s gotten off scot free. As well as deceiving customers, and costing them money, VW’s actions have contributed to the air pollution crisis we’re facing in the UK. Across the country, air pollution is breaching legal limits and putting people's health at risk. As the biggest car manufacturer in Europe, VW’s unacceptable corporate behaviour must be challenged and reformed. It must make amends to its customers, and stop pushing more of its dirty diesel cars onto our streets."
The so called “fix”
In July of this year, in the largest survey of affected car owners in the UK, over 50% of car owners who had the fix carried out by VW reported subsequent problems with their car. Reduced fuel efficiency, reduced power and acceleration and sudden loss of power were the most reported problems.
About the case in the UK
The scandal has affected 1.2 million cars in the UK alone, and current and previous owners of these cars are eligible to join the legal action.
The key allegation is that the affected cars should not have been certified as fit for sale because it is alleged that they produced higher levels of NOx emissions than the rules allowed. It is also alleged that the affected vehicles only passed official emissions tests because their engines were fitted with a 'defeat device' which reduces NOx emissions under test conditions.
According to the government Department for Rural Affairs, NOx emissions cause 23,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.
Claimants can join the legal action by going to www.vwemissionsaction.com , which was set up by Slater and Gordon to provide more information about the case and to allow those affected by the emissions scandal to join the legal action.
Individuals and companies can join the claim without cost. Litigation in the UK can be lengthy and expensive, which can deter individuals from taking legal action. So for the purpose of the case against VW, third party funding from Therium Capital Management Limited, a UK litigation funder has been secured.
Counsel for the claimants include Oliver Campbell QC, Professor Sir Alan Dashwood QC, Adam Heppinstall and Nazeer Chowdhury, of Henderson Chambers. Gregory Treverton-Jones QC 39 Essex Street and Alexander Hutton QC of Hailsham Chambers.
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