Proceedings begin on group civil action with more than 400,000 owners reported to be claiming compensation from Volkswagen
Jim Holder
30 September 2019

Proceedings in the largest legal claim in German history begin against Volkswagen today in relation to the Dieselgate scandal, with owners seeking compensation for either being missold their car or for financial losses as a result of altered emissions or lower resale values.

The case is viewed as highly significant for owners of all affected VW products - including cars from the Audi, Porsche, Seat, Skoda and VW brands - as it will likely have a bearing on how the Group approaches legal action in other European territories, including the UK.

The VW Group has already reached a settlement with American and Australian owners, but is vigorously defending European claims as a result of what it says are different regulations that it did not breach. To date, the scandal, which broke in 2015, has cost VW more than £30 billion in fines and costs, while it has made a provision of around £1bn for defending its European cases.

Dieselgate: recordings of former VW engine chief emerge

The law in Germany was changed to allow a group civil action against VW - previously claimants would have had to take individual action. As a result, more than 400,000 owners are said to have grouped together ahead of today's hearing, while around another 100,000 are said to be still pursuing individual action.

They must prove that they were either mis-sold the car, that the technical fix approved by technical authorities has had a detrimental affect on efficiency or that resale values of affected cars have fallen.

In defence, VW argues that it did not breach European law by using a device to cheat emissions tests - such was the laxity of wording of the rules - and that the effect of the cheat was to lower NOx emissions, which would have had no immediate financial impact on owners, plus the fix has been independently approved as not negatively altering any emissions criteria.

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In addition, it says it has compelling evidence that there has been no long-term impact on resale values.

Court proceedings in Germany could take up to four years, according to local media reports, by which time effected cars would be at least eight years old, and there are three possible outcomes: VW wins, the claimants win or an out-of-court settlement is reached if the court determines the cost of the case will exceed the likely compensation.

Although it is yet to be confirmed, around 85,000 UK owners are reported to have launched a joint action against VW, which will begin in December ahead of a full hearing likely to take place after spring 2020.

Read more

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Comments
12

30 September 2019

Autocar and Auto Express both are guilty of promoting this discredited   car group with their continual filling of their magazines with swathes of adverts for their cars. This company has diliberately mis guid authorities customers to the point where many of the top brass are in prison. Surely banning their ads would be a good way of showing them (VW) that they were at the very least criminal in their doing.It puzzels me how customers are still supporting this German lying concern by buying from them. 

30 September 2019
Antony Riley wrote:

Autocar and Auto Express both are guilty of promoting this discredited   car group with their continual filling of their magazines with swathes of adverts for their cars. This company has diliberately mis guided authorities customers to the point where many of the top brass are in prison. Surely  bye banning their ads would be a good way of showing them (VW) that they were at the very least criminal in their doing.It puzzels me how customers are still supporting this German lying concern by buying from them. 

30 September 2019

I

Antony Riley wrote:

Autocar and Auto Express both are guilty of promoting this discredited   car group with their continual filling of their magazines with swathes of adverts for their cars. This company has diliberately mis guid authorities customers to the point where many of the top brass are in prison. Surely banning their ads would be a good way of showing them (VW) that they were at the very least criminal in their doing.It puzzels me how customers are still supporting this German lying concern by buying from them. 

This exactly why no ‘long term impact’ on resale values has occurred. VAG invested heavily in advertising of its vehicles in publications spending millions with publications to promote its vehicles more so I guess than others. This huge investment results in glowing reviews of the product and thus the public think they are great vehicles.

30 September 2019

To convict these criminals?

Disgusting.

30 September 2019

and ironic that the current administration in America doesn't even believe cimate change is real, but they want to crucify VW for lying about emmissions. You really couldn't make it up.

30 September 2019

Dilly  so do you support V W in what they did ?

30 September 2019

I don't support hypocrisy period. The USA and hypocrisy go hand in hand

30 September 2019

lol- you couldnt make this up

 

30 September 2019

Be honest you diesel lovers. You bought it because it saved you money on fuel bills. You didn't really care whether it it passes or fails the so-called emissions standards. As long as it gets the fuel economy that you get - so be it (petrol, diesel or whatever) . Thats why people still buy VW cars in droves (and they make bigger profits than ever).

Just give me car with the best fuel economy OK? and cut out all this crap about being upset that they "cheated". You will buy another diesel in a whiff. They were just satisfying your demand.

30 September 2019
What about the millions of diesel wagons gassing the rest of Europe and us in the UK?

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