Owners of Volkswagen Group cars affected by the dieselgate emissions scandal are running out of time to join one of the largest consumer group actions to come to court.
In order to become a party to the legal action, owners have until Friday 26th October 2018 to register with the firms of solicitors bringing the case.
With over 1 million cars sold in the UK implicated in the dieselgate scandal, there are numerous drivers who could still sign up.
To be eligible to join the group action, owners would have to show they have owned a Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda or Audi car meeting certain requirements:
- Having been built between 2008 and 2015,
- Fitted with a 1.2, 1.5, or 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine,
- Purchased, leased, or financed before the 1st January 2016,
- Acquired for personal use only – business usage is excluded.
The car does not even need to have been bought new, with second hand purchases also potentially eligible to be included. Even if owners have since sold their car, this would not automatically disqualify them from joining the group action.
The two firms are allowing owners to join on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. Should the action be successful, the solicitors aim to recover a refund of 50% of the price paid for the car, or the amount paid as part of a finance deal, as compensation.
However, any compensation recovered would be subject to deductions for the legal fees of the solicitors involved. The case is expected to come to the High Court during 2019.
Dieselgate is estimated to have already cost Volkswagen in excess of £20 billion in settlements and fines since 2015. This includes a fine of £880 million in Germany, whilst Audi has also recently been fined an additional £700 million.
In the United States, Volkswagen made a deal with authorities to buy back over 500,000 cars, arguing they could not be fixed to comply with emissions regulations.