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In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that 1.2 million of its vehicles sold in the UK were fitted with a cheat software. The case became known as the VW emissions scandal or “dieselgate”.
Included within these 1.2 million vehicles were cars within the VW brand, Audi, Seat, and Skoda, as well as VW commercial vehicles.
Now, thousands of UK residents are seeking compensation from the VW Group. If you have been affected, you can join them in potentially receiving compensation from the millions of pounds pot that VW have now set aside for damages.
Below, we detail what the VW emissions scandal is, which cars have been affected and how you can begin your claim for compensation if you believe you have a case.
The dieselgate scandal, as it is now known as, began in September 2015. Volkswagen admitted that it had purposefully inserted software in more than 11 million cars worldwide in order to cheat emissions tests.
They confessed that this “cheat software” had been present in their cars since 2009. The software worked by activating emissions controls only during testing. Tests now show that during regular driving, the VW cars emitted 10 to 40 times more pollution.
At the time there was a worldwide uproar and regulators in multiple countries began to investigate Volkswagen and their practices. In January 2017, the car manufacturer pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the US, with a US judge ordering VW to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine for “rigging diesel-powered powered vehicles to cheat the emission tests”.
So far, the VW group has paid out £26bn worldwide in fines and compensation.
Over the course of the scandal, VW has always denied using the prohibited cheat devices in the UK. It has insisted over the years that its customers in the UK have not suffered any loses, so there is not need for any compensation to paid out. This might have changed in March 2020, however.
In March 2020, the High Court of England and Wales handed down a significant judgment which stated that the software used in UK cars was in fact a “defeat device” and that this was binding in the English courts.
The class action was brought on behalf of 90,000 motorists who argued that they were misled by VW who purposefully cheated the emissions test by lowering nitrogen dioxide (NOx) levels under test conditions.
In the preliminary hearing, Mr Justice Waksman stated that:
The software function in issue in this case is indeed a defeat device.
The judge stated that VW’s defence was “highly flawed”, “hopeless”, and “absurd”.
While this is a very important step for motorists, it is not the end of the litigation. A further trial in the UK is expected to determine the liability of VW, along with a decision whether any compensation is to be paid to motorists (though this is likely, considering other cases in Canada, US, Germany, and Australia).
Multiple cars across VW and their wider brand are affected. You may be able to claim compensation for the dieselgate scandal if your car was manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, or Porsche and, if:
More information on which cars are eligible can be found here –
We can also advise you if your car has been affected.
We often get asked why bringing a claim against VW for the dieselgate scandal is so important, and apart from gaining you compensation, there are a few key answers.
Volkswagen lied about a dangerous pollutant – NOx. This is responsible for acid rain, global warming, smog and the deterioration of the ozone layer. We believe we need to ensure more vehicle manufacturers do not follow suit by putting profits above your health and the planet.
Volkswagen have often tried to deny their involvement in the scandal with coverups and lies. It is vital to send a message that no company, no matter how big or small, is above the law. Making a claim against VW sends a message that large companies cannot be dishonest to their customers.
Many of those affected will have paid more money for a vehicle that they thought was more efficient. They may have overpaid for the vehicle and are now struggling to sell the car in a secondary market due to the VW emissions scandal. A claim for compensation can make sure you are fully compensated should this happen. You also may have used more fuel over the years than you might have done had the scandal have not happened.
It is not just the environment we need to protect. Studies from the European Federation for Transport and Environment show that traffic pollution costs Europeans an estimated 60 billion euros each year and can be put down to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year. NOx can cause respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, coughing and wheezing.
Claim Experts work on a No Win, No Fee basis. Bringing a claim against VW will not cost you anything if you are unsuccessful. If you win, you keep the majority of the compensation and our fee comes out of that.
There is no current guidance on the amount of compensation UK residents can receive for a VW emissions claim. Having said this, leading industry experts have estimated that claimants could potentially claim up to £3,000 should their claim be successful.
This estimation includes past and present VW owners. We will keep clients updated in relation to High Court rulings on compensation.
Claim Experts work on a No Win, No Fee basis, meaning if your claim is unsuccessful there will be no cost to you.
Have you been affected by the VW emissions scandal? Do you want to make a claim for compensation against dieselgate? You start your VW emissions claim today.
At Claim Experts, we have a team of expert litigation solicitors who come from a financial services and compliance background. We are also regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation.
At ClaimExperts.co.uk we make claiming for compensation easy:
If you would like to speak to one of our VW Emissions Claims Solicitors, you can do by calling 0800 0155 687, or by completing an enquiry form.