English lawyers are bringing a series of allegations against Volkswagen CREDIT: ALAMY
A London court has indicated that it will give the green light to a group lawsuit by around 60,000 English car owners against Volkswagen, over the “dieselgate” scandal.
Lawyers for Slater and Gordon and Leigh Day said on Thursday they had been awarded a joint legal lead in the lawsuit, which will be the largest in English legal history, subject to any further applications by other law firms.
Volkswagen has said about 11 million cars worldwide were fitted with software that cheated US diesel emissions tests designed to limit noxious car fumes and carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution.
About 1.2 million Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT vehicles are affected in Britain.
English lawyers are bringing a series of allegations, including that Volkswagen manufacturers defrauded drivers, that “defeat devices” – engine management software designed to mask pollution levels – broke EU rules, that a Volkswagen software fix has caused other problems with cars and that drivers overpaid for vehicles.
“It has been two years since the scandal broke and the only thing that VW has offered UK consumers is a fix that our clients have told us doesn’t work,” said Gareth Pope, a litigation lawyer at Slater and Gordon.
“Now those consumers have the chance to hold VW to account for their deceit and will finally have their day in court,” he added.
Volkswagen has already agreed a multi-billion settlement with the US authorities and owners of affected vehicles, but the company has said it will fight the UK legal action.
“We intend to defend these claims robustly and are confident of a successful outcome,” a Volkswagen spokesperson said, stating the software has not been proven illegal in the UK and many cars had been fixed.