Drivers in Britain who were victims of the Volkswagen emissions scandal are taking legal action against the firm in order to gain compensation that they feel is owed to them.
It is reported that 10,000 motorists believe that they were conned into purchasing vehicles that produce more nitrogen oxide than was advertised and are seeking payment of £3,000 each making it a total of £30 million. Approximately 1.2 million British vehicles –including Audis, Skodas and Seats – were affected by the scandal due to the use of software which cheated emissions tests. Due to this, if everyone involved was to be paid compensation, the total costs would be in the region of £3.6 billion.
Judges in the US last year approved a £12 billion settlement for compensation for drivers which means that each driver is set to receive up to £8,000. Since then, MPs in the UK have put pressure on Volkswagen to fix their vehicles and compensate those who have been affected accordingly. They are yet to offer compensation to any victims of the scandal.
Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair, who are taking on the case said:
"The group action aims to ensure that, if VW is found to have misled consumers about the environmental damage caused by their cars, they are penalised accordingly so as to discourage this sort of behaviour from happening again."
Lee Xavier, Head of Civil Litigation law at Cartwright King Solicitors summarises the case by saying:
“You may remember the famous award winning VW adverts of the past. One springs to mind and is particularly apt in this instance, where the James Bond looking tuxedo wearing man has lost everything gambling except his trusty VW.
“Do VW adopt a similar gambling stance here in the UK? Having already come to a massive settlement in the US, one might expect so."
“Do VW group settle a £30m claim now or potentially have a claim that would run into billions. Bearing in mind it would not just be UK VW owners that would bring claims, but all across Europe."
“I suspect there will be no rush to settle claims now but instead VW owners will be compensated by free recalls and the offer of perhaps a free service or the like before any financial compensation is offered."
“I expect there will be a few more rolls of the dice before there is any conclusion to this saga.”