VOLKSWAGEN may be the subject of Britain’s largest legal group claim following the emissions scandal.
The German manufacturer has admitted using ‘defeat devices’ to fiddle emissions tests on diesel cars in the USA so that its vehicles appeared up to 40 times cleaner than they actually were. Yesterday, its chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, resigned as a result, and VW America boss Michael Horn has admitted: ‘We’ve totally screwed up.’
At least 482,000 cars are being recalled in the US, with the company facing billions of dollars in fines there alone, and it has revealed that up to 11 million vehicles worldwide could be affected. France, Italy and South Korea have launched their own investigations, and UK drivers should soon discover if they have been misled as well.
In the meantime, lawyer Bozena Michalowska-Howells from the consumer law and product safety group at legal firm Leigh Day said ‘The key issue in this country is whether or not these devices were able to bypass the European emissions tests. If it is shown that this piece of software defeated the European testing then Volkswagen would be in a very similar position as it is in the US and may well then have to call in their cars with all the resulting costs involved.
‘This could well lead to one of the largest group claims ever in this country against Volkswagen for the way in which consumers may have been misled in relation to their vehicle.’
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