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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, as reported by the BBC. 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. Below, we detail what the VW emissions scandal is and which cars have been affected.
Whilst the deadline to join the Group Action has passed this does not necessarily mean that you do not have a claim providing that you still fall within the limitation period.
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. While no definitive emissions tests have yet taken place in the UK, researchers in the US found that when tested on the road, some cars emitted almost 40 times the permitted US levels of nitrogen oxides. The permitted levels do differ in the US and the UK
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.
The VW NOx Emissions Group Litigation relates to vehicles manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT or Skoda with a 1.2, 1.6 or 2.0 litre EA189 diesel engine, manufactured before 2016.
Other cars may be affected including, Porsche. Whilst no finding or decision has been made in respect of other vehicles such as Porsche, we are looking into them.
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.
Saving The Environment
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.
Clients who have been affected may have suffered damages because of it. If they have a valid claim they may be able to make a claim for compensation. In addition to this, Autocar tests have shown that the cars do have a worse fuel economy after the fix.
Saving Your Health
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.
No Risk To You
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. We will keep clients updated in relation to High Court rulings on compensation.
Claims experts work on a no win no fee basis. There will be no charge for our services should you be unsuccessful.
Have you been affected by the VW emissions scandal? Do you want to make a claim for compensation against dieselgate? Whilst the deadline to join the Group Action has passed this does not necessarily mean that you do not have a claim providing that you still fall within the limitation period.
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:
Claim Experts is a trading style of Smooth Commercial Law. Your enquiry will be handled by Claim Experts, but your emissions case may be passed on to another solicitor within our panel. Should you decide to proceed with your claim it is your responsibility to check the terms and conditions of the solicitor that contacts you, including the fee they charge which can be up to 50%, no win, no fee.