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VW emissions FAQS

What is the claim about?
In September 2015 the Volkswagen Group confirmed that up to 11 million of their VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda diesel vehicles sold worldwide were fitted with software that cheated emissions tests.  1.2 million of these vehicles were sold in the UK. It is our case that this software is illegal under UK law and we are bringing claims for compensation for consumers who purchased affected vehicles.
What is the current status of legal proceedings?
The Court approved a Group Litigation Order (‘GLO’) in March 2018 which appointed Leigh Day as joint lead solicitors of the action. The GLO is awaiting final approval of the President of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.
A GLO is made when there are multiple Claimants and Defendants and the Order provides for the case management of the claims which give rise to common or related issues of fact or law. In effect, the GLO allows the claims to be heard together rather than on an individual basis making it far more efficient.  Amongst other things, the GLO: 
  • establishes a framework for the management of the large number of claimants making a claim in respect of VW Group vehicles with EA189 engines acquired on or before 1 January 2016. This includes setting out the common issues that the Court will determine under the GLO;
  • establishes a Group Register recording brief details of the claims of all claimants who join the group action;
  • creates a Steering Committee of three law firms to conduct the litigation on behalf of all claimants. 
  • sets out what information each claimant must provide to the Defendants about their claim. 
What are the next key dates in group action?
  1. The lead solicitors will establish a group register where the details of all claimants who wish to be part of the claim are recorded by December 2018.
  2. VW are required to provide their Defence to the claim by the end of May 2018.
  3. Any claimant who wishes to be part of the group action must serve proceedings on the defendants by the end of October 2018.
  4. Once a claimant has served proceedings, they then have 6 weeks to provide the defendants with various details about their individual claim. 

Why should I instruct Leigh Day?
Bringing group actions on behalf of consumers is one of this firm’s key areas of specialty.  We have carefully devised our litigation strategy in this case and believe that our approach offers our clients the best opportunity of achieving a favourable outcome whilst securing the maximum amount of compensation.
The key advantages of instructing this firm are:
  • If you are eligible, we are seeking to recover 50% of the purchase price of the affected vehicle under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 1998 (“CPUT Regulations”). This means that you may receive substantially more compensation than via other types of claim, although that is not guaranteed.
  • We are only taking on new claimants who can claim under the CPUT Regulations, which enables us to use the expertise we have developed in that type of claim and to provide better service.
  • We are acting on a “no win, no fee” basis, meaning that you do not have to pay us anything if the claim is unsuccessful and we have arranged insurance to protect you against the risk of losing and having to pay a share of the defendant’s costs.
  • If you win, all our fees and expenses are capped at no more than 30% of your compensation so you will get a minimum of 70%. So far as we are aware, no other firm is offering a cap as low as that covering everything including the cost of insurance and funding.

Who can bring a claim?
All people who bought an affected vehicle have a potential claim. However, currently we are only taking on additional clients who can claim under the CPUT Regulations. To claim under those Regulations you need to satisfy these criteria:
  1. You bought an affected vehicle as a consumer (that is, not for business purposes); and
  2. You made one or more payments for an affected vehicle (new or used) on or after the 1st October 2014 to an approved Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT or Skoda dealer or Volkswagen Audi, SEAT or Skoda Finance. This includes where:
  • You paid an approved dealer for the vehicle on or after 1 October 2014 with the help of a bank loan or credit card;
  • You entered a hire purchase, lease or personal contract purchase (PCP) contract with Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT or Skoda Finance before 1 October 2014, but made one or more payments after that date.

What will it cost me?
We will act under a conditional fee agreement (CFA), popularly known as “no win no fee”. We are not aware of any firms offering better terms than ours for VW emissions claims.
  • If you lose (that is, you do not get any compensation from the defendants), then you do not have to pay us anything.
  • If you win, the majority of our fees and expenses should be paid by the defendants. All fees and expenses (including VAT and insurance) that we can’t recover from the defendants are capped at 30% of your compensation, so you will get a minimum of 70%. 
  • We have arranged insurance to protect you against the risk of losing and having to pay the defendants’ legal costs and our expenses. You don’t have to pay anything for the insurance up front or if you lose and the cost of the insurance is included in the 30% costs cap.  

What is the legal basis for the claim?
Leigh Day is bringing several different types of legal claim depending on each client’s circumstances:
  • Common law tort of deceit/fraud against the VW Group manufacturers
  • Breach of statutory duty against the VW Group manufacturers
  • Breach of contract against approved dealers and Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Ltd
  • Claim for a discount under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 1998 (“CPUT Regulations”) against approved dealers and Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Ltd
  • Claims for remedies in relation to the unfair relationship between claimants and Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Ltd under s.140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
Currently, we are only taking on additional claimants who are eligible to claim under the CPUT Regulations in addition to any of the others. Unfortunately, the CPUT Regulations only apply to people who made a payment for their vehicle on or after 1 October 2014 (which is when the Regulations came into force).
Claimants who can claim under CPUT may be able to claim more compensation than under the other types of claim.
It is alleged that Volkswagen breached the CPUT Regulations by engaging in one or more “prohibited practices” by installing emissions test defeat devices in the affected vehicles. If successful, a claimant may recover a percentage discount on the payment or payments made on or after 1 October 2014.
The percentage discount awarded under the CPUT Regulations depends upon the court’s assessment of how significant the prohibited practices were in the consumer’s decision to purchase their vehicle. The discount is 25% for practices that are “more than minor” and 50% for practices that are “significant”. It is our intention to claim at least a 50% discount on behalf of our clients, given that the use of emissions cheating software circumvents protections put in place under EU law, and is on any view more than minor.
What if I don’t qualify to join Leigh Day’s claimant group?
Other law firms have different criteria and may take you on.
Which cars are affected?
The diesel models affected include Volkswagen cars and other Volkswagen-owned brands such as Audi, Seat and Skoda as well as Volkswagen commercial vehicles. The affected models are: 
  • Fitted with a 1.2l, 1.6l, or a 2.0l EA189 engine; and
  • Complied with Euro 5 emission standards and were sold between 2009 and September 2015.
How can I check if my car is affected?
You can confirm whether your vehicle is affected by checking the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) details of your car on these sites:
You can find your VIN in the front of the service book or at the bottom of the windscreen on the left hand side (as you look into the vehicle from the outside).
The VIN will look like this: WVWZZZ1JZXW000010
Can I still bring a claim if I have sold my vehicle?

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