An exhaust pipe, via PA (Credit Lewis Whyld/PA)An exhaust pipe, via PA (Credit Lewis Whyld/PA)


UK’s dieselgate claims against car manufacturers said to be worth at least £6bn, High Court told

  • Three-day hearing taking place to manage costs of dieselgate claims case
  • Budgets are already said to have topped £300m on both sides
  • Around 1.5m claims have been issued against 13 car manufacturers

Time 10:36 am, June 12, 2024

More than a dozen car manufacturers are together facing the biggest legal claim of its kind in English history with its value said to be at least £6bn.

Some 1.5m claims have been issued against 13 car manufacturers following the 2015 dieselgate emissions revelations, the High Court has been told as part of written submissions for a hearing to manage the costs of the case.

The mass legal action centres on allegations that manufacturers tried to ‘cheat’ emissions tests by using banned ‘defeat devices’ on diesel vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Vauxhall, Nissan and Renault, Volkswagen and Porsche, Peugeot and Citroen, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, BMW, FCA and Suzuki, Volvo, Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and Mazda.

Those bringing the action bought, leased or otherwise acquired a diesel vehicle made by one of the carmakers, with most living in England and Wales but some living elsewhere in the UK.

The three-day hearing in London, which began on Monday, saw barrister Benjamin Williams KC saying: ‘Even if the claims were valued conservatively at circa £4,000 per claim, that would give an overall value of at least £6bn to these proceedings.’

He added that the budgets for both sides had already topped £300m.

Last December, lawyers at the High Court called the legal action ‘unprecedented’ in scale, with a previous hearing being told that it involved more than 1,500 defendants once dealerships were taken into account.

Mercedes-Benz is facing more than 300,000 claims alone, the earlier hearing was told.

The case is expected to run for a number of years, with some hearings already scheduled for 2026.

In a separate ruling in the case yesterday, a judge ordered French manufacturers Renault and Peugeot Citroen to hand over documents and information to law firms representing those bringing legal action.

The companies claimed at a hearing in May that a French law known as the French Blocking Statute would put the companies or their employees at risk of prosecution in France if they disclosed information.

But in her judgment, Mrs Justice Cockerill said there was ‘no real risk of prosecution in this case’.

Main image credit: Lewis Whyld/PA

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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