Volkswagen’s lawyers have walked out of court in Ireland; the case involves a motorist from Roscommon suing the company regarding the emissions scandal
Jimi Beckwith
7 September 2016

Volkswagen’s legal team has walked out of an Irish court after the judge ruled that the case, which involves a motorist suing the company following the emissions scandal, will proceed.

Irish news outlet RTE reported that Roscommon-based Eithne Higgins is suing VW because the emissions scandal may impact her car's road tax, after Volkswagen admitted using so-called defeat devices to manipulate emissions during official testing.

Volkswagen’s legal representative, Paul Fogarty, said that the proceedings are “utterly unsatisfactory, unfair and inappropriate”, and walked out, after Judge Devins, the presiding judge, said she would hear Higgins’ case.

It’s reported that Fogarty informed the judge that no company representatives will be attending the hearing following Judge Devins’ decision. Fogarty also called into question the legality of the court’s determining of the case.

The case will continue, although RTE reports that Evan O’Dwyer, representing Higgins, accused Volkswagen of attempting to stall or interrupt the process multiple times.

A Volkswagen UK spokesman was unable to comment on the matter, as was Volkswagen’s official spokesman in Ireland.

Volkswagen has come under criticism for holding its stance on offering no compensation for affected European customers despite US customers being compensated; several parliamentary committees have urged the government to take action, although whether it will or not is yet to be seen.

An Italian consumer group also found the Volkswagen fix being applied to cars ineffective, after an Audi Q5 that had been recalled showed higher NOx emissions post-fix. 

Fiat has also been recently accused of using a similar method of manipulating emissions as Volkswagen. 

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7 September 2016
leave in a puff of smoke?

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 September 2016
Why has Autocar not done a before and after fix test of a Golf diesel, worried about the loss of advertising??

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 September 2016
So is Eire and UK Tax position on this linked?

8 September 2016
The woman who has taken this case against VW actually owns a 2010 Seat Leon which we can assume has a 1.6 TDi engine, as I read elsewhere in The Irish Times.

In July 2008 the Irish Government changed the system of motor taxation rates from being an engine capacity based rate to one that was determined by the CO2 emissions. To give you an idea of pre and post change costs, of my former cars, my 2006 Alfa GT 1.9 JTDm cost €720 per year, my Alfa 159 1.9 JTDm (with a slightly modified engine) cost €570 per year - yet the 2010 159 1.9 JTDm (probably cleaner again) cost just €225 to tax. My current car, a 2014 Mazda 3 2.2 diesel costs €190 per year.

Ms. Higgins may, like myself and many others, have chosen her car partly on the basis of it having lower emissions and therefore a lower motor tax rate than other cars.

Under the emissions based system she could expect to pay €280 per year for the 1.6 TDi (or €200 for the 1.9 TDi). Given the pre-emissions rates, this probably represented a significant saving over an earlier car.

If the outcome of the VW Emissions Scandal fix is that Ms. Higgin's car is going to release more CO2 than was claimed at the time that she bought it, then the government will retest those VW engines and revise the motor tax rates, so she and anyone with those engines, would face larger motor tax bills going forward.

While VW might not believe this to be their problem, the fact is that their advertising material was clearly false because the claims about the cars cleanliness were false, since these engines had been rigged to produce false readings.

Il cuore ha sempre ragione.

7 September 2016
Defending the indefensible is not easy no matter how loaded your client. Erstwhile Volkswagen could have got away paying a token compensation to the European owners of its vehicles at fault. Now who knows where will this end? What do they say about one stitch in time?

7 September 2016
Not sure what they hope to achieve - not providing any evidence would, I expect, mean the court will definitely decide against Volkswagen. Probably a tactical wheeze but high stakes

7 September 2016
The proceedings are “utterly unsatisfactory, unfair and inappropriate”.

Are they high? Those exact words describes exactly what VW has done to it's customers, and the rest of us, breathing in the s**t their cars spew out.


6 October 2016
bezor Ta wrote:

The proceedings are “utterly unsatisfactory, unfair and inappropriate”.

Are they high? Those exact words describes exactly what VW has done to it's customers, and the rest of us, breathing in the s**t their cars spew out.

too right, I was in London today and got covered in Black Smoke from a Volvo Bus, so they must be at it as well, I mean when a VW drives past me in London I don,t see any black smoke or smell anything so it must be invisible because when a bus goes past I can clearly see the smog from its exhausts, I mean it is only VW that are killing people isn;t it, all lther manuafacturers are clean as a whistle

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