Currently reading: Dieselgate: Volkswagen loses appeal over UK group action lawsuit
Courts reject appeal over emissions cheating scandal so lawsuit for 1.2 million affected vehicles can proceed
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3 mins read
10 August 2020

Volkswagen has been dealt another blow in the UK group action lawsuit over the Dieselgate emissions scandal as its appeal was rejected by the courts. 

The landmark ruling means that the compensation case lodged by owners can continue. It also likely means that almost 90,000 affected owners of Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen cars could now receive compensation by 2022. 

The verdict, delivered by Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Males, ruled that “the Judge’s “defeat device” issue was clearly correct”. If VW had won the appeal, it is likely that the outcome would've been longer and more protracted.  Preliminary motions including witness evidence exhanges, a selection of lead claimants and full disclosure will now take place before the trial actually begins. 

A spokesperson for VW has issued statement saying the firm is "disappointed" in the Court of Appeal's decision, but "respects it."

"This decision relates to the technical points of law that formed the Preliminary Issues Hearing in 2019", the statement continues. "It does not determine the points of loss, liability and causation, which will be decided at a trial, not before March 2022. Volkswagen maintains that because customers have not suffered any loss, it does not owe them compensation. Nevertheless, this is a matter for the main trial in due course.

"Volkswagen has openly acknowledged that, in relation to the emissions issue, we did not live up to our own standards. We are committed to maintaining the trust of the public through programmes such as our €33bn investment into e-mobility, bringing 75 fully electric car models to market by 2029."

The class action lawsuit, which could be the largest consumer action in English legal history, involves almost 90,000 owners of AudiSeatSkoda and Volkswagen cars. They're claiming for compensation over the installation of illegal ‘defeat devices’ to cheat European Union emissions standards. 

Lawyers for the owners say Volkswagen knowingly “cheated” rules put in place to “save lives” by installing an unlawful device designed to detect a rolling road test and alter the combustion process to reduce nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 40 times.  

The judge in the case earlier this year, Mr Justice Waksman, ruled that “the software function in issue in this case is indeed a defeat device” under the classification defined by the EU. The judge claimed he was “far from alone in this conclusion”, noting various courts and industry bodies that agree with the verdict.

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He called Volkswagen's defence “highly flawed” and “absurd”, adding: “A software function which enables a vehicle to pass the test because it operates the vehicle in a way which is bound to past the test and in which it does not operate own the road is a fundamental subversion of the test and the objective behind it."

The first hearing began in December 2019, looking at whether the company’s EA189 diesel engine (sold in 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre capacities) featured such a device.

Volkswagen then lost its first ruling in April this year. It said that it was "disappointed" by the verdict despite it only relating to preliminary discussions. 

Despite the lost appeal an early ruling, there are still further phases of the case, including determining 'causation', ie. whether or not the defeat device caused damage. These are due to play out at the end of this year or early 2021. If the verdict goes against Volkswagen, it could be ordered to pay hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation. 

Volkswagen hasn't paid compensation to any UK owners, claiming the cars weren't fitted with a ‘defeat device’ under UK law. Previous rulings to the contrary in other countries, such as the US, carry no weight in the UK, hence the need for the class action proceedings.

Lawt month, it was revealed that a similar consumer case in the US had been won by the claimants, resulting in Volkswagen having to pay between $5100 (£3915) and $10,000 (£7675) per customer. That added up to $9.8bn (£7.52bn)

Read more: 

Volkswagen Dieselgate damages: civil case to begin today

Volkswagen reaches £698 million dieselgate settlement in Germany

16% of Volkswagen's Dieselgate 'fix' cars suffer power loss, says UK court case

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28

6 April 2020

Despite the judges comments. UK goverment should have pursued it too, afterall the US and German gov. sure milked 'em

8 July 2020

If HMRC put as much effort in pursuing VW as they put into chasing private UK tax payers ......all of that lost VED, and the mayor of London.....equally culpable.

once we are out of the EU ....and public sector salaries get reduced by the same amount as private sector salaries ( we will be the poorest paid workforce in Northern Europe) .....yes politicians, civil servants, teachers, NHS workers and all the rest, see how many people will think its a good idea then.

at least with the saving of £350 million a week (gullible me?) we should as a country be back in the black by next Easter!!!!!!

10 August 2020
Sammybo wrote:

If HMRC put as much effort in pursuing VW as they put into chasing private UK tax payers ......all of that lost VED, and the mayor of London.....equally culpable.

once we are out of the EU ....and public sector salaries get reduced by the same amount as private sector salaries ( we will be the poorest paid workforce in Northern Europe) .....yes politicians, civil servants, teachers, NHS workers and all the rest, see how many people will think its a good idea then.

at least with the saving of £350 million a week (gullible me?) we should as a country be back in the black by next Easter!!!!!!

Yes, gullible you, this country is unlikely to ever be "back in the black", what with an already large deficeit, the damage to the economy casued by COVID 19 and the damage caused to it by Brexit.

11 August 2020

That's a shame.

6 April 2020

All these bleeding hearts hurting about all the pollution they caused. What a joke they underpaid excise duty and want money back because of that. What next will the owners of phevs be lining up next as they can't get 100+ mpg out of the Mickey Mouse mobiles. All money from VW fines to NHS as somebody has to pay for the Boris Bus claims. 

6 April 2020
Electricvanman wrote:

All these bleeding hearts hurting about all the pollution they caused. What a joke they underpaid excise duty and want money back because of that. What next will the owners of phevs be lining up next as they can't get 100+ mpg out of the Mickey Mouse mobiles. All money from VW fines to NHS as somebody has to pay for the Boris Bus claims. 

Wow, you must be the only non VW employee in the world whos actually defending them.

6 April 2020
Electricvanman wrote:

All these bleeding hearts hurting about all the pollution they caused. What a joke they underpaid excise duty and want money back because of that. What next will the owners of phevs be lining up next as they can't get 100+ mpg out of the Mickey Mouse mobiles. All money from VW fines to NHS as somebody has to pay for the Boris Bus claims. 

Dont be a dick all your life, do us all a favour and take a day off, do you realise the Boris won the election, Corbyn got defeated massively and we are leaving the EU. Stupid f***wit. 

10 August 2020
Nah, I'll take my compensation thanks. I wouldn't have bought my Passat had I known about the true Nox levels. I live near a major road and my kids have to walk through all the pollution to get to school.

6 April 2020

Don't worry VW many people are still buying Golfs and other VAGness in fact I think the golf out sold the Ford Fiesta in the UK last month or something. Keep up the good fight VW from those vindictive and unforgiving UK owners.

6 April 2020
405line wrote:

Don't worry VW many people are still buying Golfs and other VAGness in fact I think the golf out sold the Ford Fiesta in the UK last month or something. Keep up the good fight VW from those vindictive and unforgiving UK owners.

Yeah, thats the strange thing, not only did they cheat and cause more pollution, the whole scandal caused diesel sales to fall which resulted in CO2 emissions rising all over Europe making gloal warming worse, but the public still buy their sh*te cars, weird. I ll never buy a VW Group vehicle as long as I live, not just cos of this but also cos theyre sh*te.

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