MORE THAN two million UK customers could be in line for a payout from Volkswagen over the emissions scandal, double the initial estimate.
The High Court battle where UK customers take on the VW Group will begin on Monday. The legal action has had 20,000 motorists sign up with 100,000 people having registered an interest to join, according to the Mirror. The option is open to any customer who has or had a car fitted with a defeat device, going back as far as 2009.
The class action being brought against the car maker, by legal firm Harcus Sinclair UK Ltd, could cost it £6 billion in compensation, with 1.2 million cars affected in the UK, as each customer could be getting a potential £3,000.
A spokeswoman for the legal team told the Mirror: ‘In Germany one Skoda owner won the entire value of his car back after taking VW to court. That was one guy against the biggest car manufacturer in the world.
‘Along with a decision in Spain to award an Audi customer 5,000 euros compensation, we believe things are looking really positive.
‘VW sold people a car they said was X but was actually Y. If you have bought one of these cars at any point, even if you have since sold it, you can take a stand with this case.
As reported by the Daily Mail, owners and previous owners could be awarded between £3,000 and £4,000 on average for affected vehicles, according to lawyers.
Hold the firm to account
Volkswagen Group admitted in September 2015 that 482,000 of its diesel vehicles in the US were fitted with defeat device software to switch engines to a cleaner mode when they were being tested for emissions. The Wolfsburg-based company then announced 11 million vehicles were affected worldwide.
The group legal action, the first in relation to the emissions scandal on behalf of UK customers, has been described as an opportunity to hold the firm to account.
Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair UK Ltd, said: ‘We have paved the way for consumers who trusted but were let down by VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda to seek redress through our courts.
‘It is only right that UK car owners affected by the scandal have the opportunity to seek compensation. We have secured funding so that those affected can bring this claim against VW at no cost to themselves.
‘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.’
Harcus Sinclair is working with law firms including Slater and Gordon, and has set up a website – www.vwemissionsaction.com – for those interested in joining the lawsuit.
The application for the group litigation order will be heard in the High Court on January 30.
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