Volkswagen owners could receive as much £8,500 each if action if a similar action to a successful German case is taken in the UK. However, a UK ruling is due before the end of 2021 meaning motorists could need to wait to find out whether they are entitled to any payouts.
Mr Johal said: “VW has already paid out €30bn in fines and compensation claims, and there is no doubt that this could increase if the UK action continues on the path it is on.
“A court ruling is due before the end of 2021, when British motorists should know whether they will be receiving compensation, and how much they could receive.
“Based on a projected compensation pay-out of around £8,500 per claimant, Volkswagen could have to pay up to £10.2 billion to UK customers, with the total cost of dieselgate being around €40bn.”
The fresh claims come after Volkswagen were forced to pay compensation to plaintiff Herbert Gilbert after being found guilty of installing a “defeat device” on his car.
The drivers won the first stage of a UK high court action as the judge ruled the software installed on cars was a “defeat device”.
Volkswagen has consistently said it remains confident the vehicle would not be liable to any claimants who VW say have not suffered any losses.
After the defeat on the Federal Court of Justice, a VW spokesperson confirmed the decision did not change the firm’s legal position.
They confirmed the action has no consequence on legal action in the UK before adding there was no basis for claims against them in the UK.
“The Volkswagen Group has defended itself robustly against all claims brought against it in the UK, and will continue to do so. The fact is that the vehicles are and were safe, roadworthy and legal to drive despite the NOx issue.”
Mr Johal said although the German ruling was not “binding in UK law, emissions were similar between the two countries.”
He added VW’s German defeat “sets a high bar” for UK courts as he called the scandal a “victory” for consumer rights.
He said: “The German ruling on the VW dieselgate scandal is a victory for consumer rights in the EU.
“Volkswagen acted irresponsibly by implementing technology to make vehicles appear more environmentally friendly than they were.
“We welcome news that customers in Germany, who were sold an environmental lie, can claim the compensation they are rightfully owed.
“For UK motorists, as the jurisdiction is separate, the decision is not binding in UK law.
“However, emissions regulations are similar between the two countries so it may be that the UK courts could draw influence from this key verdict in Germany.
“The decision in Germany to penalise its biggest employer so rigorously shows how seriously the issue is being taken there, and it sets a high bar for British courts.”
Published at Sun, 07 Jun 2020 11:01:00 +0000