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Volkswagen to pay £193 Million Compensation To Affected UK Drivers

The Dieselgate scandal that began in 2015 has finally been settled, with each claimant looking to receive an average of over £2,100.

The Volkswagen Group has apologised to customers and agreed an out-of-court settlement of £193 million after it lied about its diesel emissions. This is the first payout of its kind in the UK, in what is now known as the “Dieselgate Scandal”.

Now, 91,000 claimants will be paid by the German vehicle manufacturer, in what they say was the most product course of action commercially. They will also contribute to claimants’ legal costs and other fees on top of this £193 million payment.

The case was due to continue until January 2023, so this settlement will be welcome news to thousands of affected UK Volkswagen owners, including those within the VW Group, which includes Audi, SEAT, Skoda.


What Was The Dieselgate Scandal?

The Dieselgate scandal first made headlines in 2015 when a US federal agency called The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found discrepancies in emissions in many Volkswagen cars. They looked at laboratory results and compared them with real-world driving emissions and found that the two figures did not match.

The EPA discovered the existence of a “defeat device” installed inside the affected cars. This device would understand when the vehicle was being tested, and lower emissions in order to pass regulatory checks. The device in question lowered the vehicle’s engine power and performance.

The EPA found that when the vehicle was outside of testing conditions, its engine emitted nitrogen oxide pollutants up to 40 times above the legal limit in the US.

After this discovery, Volkswagen admitted to installing defeat devices into around 11 million cars worldwide, with around three-quarters of those cars being in Europe. Volkswagen Group cars were affected, meaning Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and Skoda had all been implicated. In particular, the engine that was “dirty” was the EA189.

The Volkswagen Group have already spent around £25billion globally on legal costs, compensation and vehicle buybacks since the scandal broke out. The scandal has since expanded to many other manufacturers, including Mercedes, who is facing a similar claim currently.


How Much Are Volkswagen Owners Receiving in Compensation?

Volkswagen are covering all legal fees separately to the compensation payout. In addition to this, each of the 91,000 claimants look set to receive average payments of over £2,100. This will be welcome compensation for Volkswagen’s lie in relation to the emissions.

Haresh Kainth, 37, from Cambridge who bought an Audi A4 with the EA189 diesel engine, spoke of his relief at the case finally being concluded.

'I am glad that after six years VW have settled, and the matter is now resolved. It is a good day for all the claimants.'


What Have Volkswagen Said About The Scandal?

Volkswagen continue to deny any liability, and are simply saying this out-of-court settlement was the most prudent action commercially. They stated:

“No admissions in respect of liability, causation or loss have been made by any of the defendants in the group action as part of the settlement,

“In Volkswagen's view, the legal costs of litigating this case to a six-month trial in England, and then in relation to any further appeals by either party, were such that settlement was the most prudent course of action commercially.

“The Volkswagen Group would, once again, like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to their customers for the two mode software installed in the EA189 vehicles.”


What Happens Next With The Dieselgate Scandal?

Claimants will now eagerly await the four-figure sum to be paid into their bank accounts. Volkswagen will look to put this Dieselgate scandal behind, as they now say they are working to rebuild trust.

Other manufacturers, however, may be placed into a similar position as Volkswagen sooner rather than later. Fellow German manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz, is currently facing similar accusations of emissions tampering. The UK Group Litigation is currently open for Mercedes owners, with eligible vehicles being:

  • Diesel Mercedes
  • Bought outright, financed, or leased
  • Owned and Manufactured between 2008 - July 2018

This settlement will give lawyers and claimants in the UK confidence that the claim is both legitimate and meaningful.

For Volkswagen Group owners, including Audi, SEAT, and Skoda, this diesel emissions claim is now closed. However, if you have missed the deadline for this claim, you could still be eligible for mis-sold car finance compensation if you took out a car finance agreement in the last six years.

If you would like to find more information surrounding mis-sold PCP car finance claims, please visit our specialist page here.


How Can Help? have compiled an expert panel of solicitors who specialise in various motoring legal claims. Our Diesel Mercedes claim is currently open for new claimants. You can check your eligibility within a few seconds using our free-to-use checker. Find out more here.

Our panel can also assist with any potential car finance mis-selling claims.  If you have taken out a car finance agreement in the last six years, you could be eligible for compensation. Find out more here.

The Diesel Mercedes Claim Is Now Open

Over 29,876 drivers have already joined the Mercedes Diesel Emission Claim.

Past and current Diesel Mercedes owners are both eligible. Each claim could be worth £000s. Click here to find out more.

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