Firm applies for a group litigation order following Volkswagen emissions scandal

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Harcus Sinclair has applied for a group litigation order in claims against VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda arising out of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

The application for the group litigation order will be heard in the High Court on 30 January 2017 and is the first group litigation order sought in relation to the VW emissions scandal on behalf of UK consumers. Harcus Sinclair says that the Volkswagen emissions scandal has affected 1.2 million cars in the UK alone.

Affected cars include VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda vehicles with 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 EA 189 diesel engines manufactured between 2009 and 2015. The value of the compensation sought is estimated to be in the region of several thousand pounds per car.

Harcus Sinclair is collaborating with other law firms, including Slater and Gordon. As the lead solicitor, Harcus Sinclair will be the lead Solicitor on the record at court and responsible for instructing counsel and preparing and filing of court documents, directing overall litigation strategy and reporting to claimants on the progress of the claim.

The key allegation is that the affected cars should not have been certified as fit for sale because it is alleged that they produced higher levels of NOx emissions than the rules allowed. It is also alleged that the affected vehicles only passed official emissions tests because their engines were fitted with a ‘defeat device’ which reduces NOx emissions under test conditions.

According to the government Department for Rural Affairs, NOx emissions cause 23,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.

Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair UK 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.”

Jacqueline Young, head of group litigation at Slater and Gordon, said: “VW has shown utter contempt, not just for the rights and health of their UK consumers but also for the environment. This legal action is the best opportunity that British customers will have for holding VW to account over this scandal.”

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk