We’re bringing a group action in Scotland on behalf of car owners who’ve been affected by the defeat device that VW installed in their vehicles. If you purchased your vehicle in Scotland and its one of the affected models you may be eligible to join the claim.
In September 2015 it was revealed that the Volkswagen Group (including Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and Škoda) had manufactured and sold around 11 million vehicles worldwide, which were fitted with test cycle recognition software. 1.2 million of these vehicles were sold in the UK alone. The effect of this software was to reduce NOx emissions during testing.
When driven on the road, these vehicles produce higher levels of NOx than is permitted by law. NOx is a combination of Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide; both of which are pollutants associated with, amongst other things, acid rain and childhood asthma.
The Volkswagen Group promoted a ‘clean diesel’ image, which, in part, led to their vehicles commanding a premium price.
Volkswagen has repeatedly told customers that the vehicles are safe and roadworthy, and that their ‘type-approval’ remains valid. ‘Type-approval’ is a regulatory prerequisite for selling vehicles.
Before you can buy a car it must pass various tests designed to ensure its fit for use. These include things like crash-testing and road handling but also, crucially, emissions testing. These tests are the same throughout Europe.
The testing process relies heavily on the honesty of manufacturers: often the tests are carried out ‘in-house’ and only observed by independent inspectors. Over the past twenty years, the maximum permitted levels of various pollutants have been steadily reduced by a series of regulations known as the ‘Euro’ standard. Beginning at Euro 1, and ending with the current Euro 6. The Euro 5 standard (introduced in 2009) included a significantly lower limit for the production of NOx by diesel vehicles than previous iterations of the rules, and it’s these rules that Volkswagen breached.
Despite entering into settlements with vehicle owners in various jurisdictions including the US, Australia and Germany, Volkswagen has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing.
When we buy a car, we trust that the information provided to us by manufacturers is true. It’s clear to us (and to the industry experts that we’ve spoken to) that:
Slater and Gordon is leading the claim in England and Wales for a group of more than 90,000 affected vehicle owners. The English High Court has recently ruled that the software fitted in the vehicles was a ‘defeat device’, which is an important step in the case.
Scottish Parliament passed the Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Act 2018 in May 2018 enabling group litigations to be raised in Scotland for the first time. Although the Act was passed in 2018, the legislation is only planned to come into effect in August 2020. We’ll be raising a group action on behalf of affected car owners against VW as soon as the legislation is in place.
Information regarding Volkswagen’s cheat devices first became available in 2015 when the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States ordered a recall. There are strict time limits on bringing an emissions claim against VW and they must be raised within five years from the date Volkswagen’s alleged fraudulent conduct was discovered.
There are many reasons to join the claim, including:
You may be eligible to take legal action if your car is manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT or Škoda and is:
You may also be eligible to make a claim if you purchased your vehicle in any of the following ways:
If you’d like to register your interest in pursuing a claim against Volkswagen, please provide us with your details using the form on this page and we’ll keep you informed of our progress. If we consider there’s a valid claim to pursue we shall invite you to become a client of Slater and Gordon.