Volkswagen Group agrees £193m settlement for ‘dieselgate’ claimants

Published 26 May 2022
  • Volkswagen Group agrees £193m settlement for 'dieselgate' claimants.
  • Group action was brought against Volkswagen Group and dealer entities in England and Wales following 2015 emissions scandal. 
  • Volkswagen Group says it will "work to rebuild the trust of its customers".

The Volkswagen Group has agreed an out of court settlement of £193 million for ‘dieselgate’ claimants. 

Around 91,000 claims were being brought against various Volkswagen Group and dealer entities in the group action in England and Wales, following the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal.

The scandal involved ‘defeat devices’ fitted to vehicles with the EA189 diesel engine. The devices detected whether a vehicle was being driven normally or was undergoing a test in a laboratory. In the latter case, the device altered the engine characteristics to produce a lower level of emissions than usual.

Volkswagen said that the legal costs of litigating this case to a six-month trial in England, and then in relation to any further appeals by either party, were such that “settlement was the most prudent course of action commercially”.

 VW Group Office

“No admissions in respect of liability, causation or loss have been made by any of the defendants in the group action as part of the settlement,” VW Group said in a statement.

However, it apologised to the affected customers and said it would continue to work to rebuild the trust of its customers in England and Wales.

Philip Haarmann, chief legal officer of Volkswagen AG, said that the £193m settlement was “another important milestone as the Volkswagen Group continues to move beyond the deeply regrettable events leading up to September 2015".

In addition to the £193m, the VW Group is making a contribution towards the claimants' legal costs and other fees.

Signing Contract 

However, it said that the terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential.

The claims were brought on behalf of consumers by the law firms Slater and Gordon, Leigh Day and PGMBM.

Commenting on the settlement, Slater and Gordon CEO David Whitmore said: "Over the last five years, Slater and Gordon have rightly dedicated a significant and unwavering commitment to this case, providing an expert voice to around 70,000 claimants.

"The settlement avoids the need for a lengthy, complex and expensive trial process and we are delighted to have achieved this settlement for our customers as a result of the group action."

"The settlement avoids the need for a lengthy, complex and expensive trial process." Slater and Gordon CEO David Whitmore

Bozena Michalowska and Shazia Yamin, lead solicitors at Leigh Day, added: "We are clear that it was in the interest of our clients to settle this early."

The settlement applies only to claims in the Volkswagen NOx Emissions Group Litigation. It has no bearing on any other claims relating to other engines in England and Wales or any other jurisdiction.

How many vehicles were affected by the VW emissions scandal?

The software was reportedly used in some 11 million vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK.

The Volkswagen Group, whose brands include Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen, carried out a recall in 2016.

 

How much will each claimant receive?

This information hasn't been made public. The sums will be allocated between the claimants in proportions agreed by the various claimant solicitors' firms and those from whom they take instructions.

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