In recent years, several major automakers have been caught up in emissions cheating scandals. The most notorious of these scandals—Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate”—involves around 11 million vehicles worldwide, including more than 1 million in the UK. VW has already been ordered by courts in the United States and other countries to pay compensation to affected motorists. Similar compensation could be forthcoming for Volkswagen owners in England and Wales. A large claimant group of 91,000 owners or lessees of VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT cars are currently taking their claim through the English High Court. Although not formally part of this group litigation, Milberg London represents one of the largest groups of VW drivers who were affected by emissions cheating and is bringing an additional claim on behalf of those who are not able to join the current group litigation. We are also investigating emission cheating claims against Mercedes-Benz and other car manufacturers.
Volkswagen Pays Billions in Compensation to Cheated Motorists
The Volkswagen emissions scandal emerged in September 2015 when the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a violation notice of the Clean Air Act to German Automaker Volkswagen for intentionally programming their diesel engines to detect and work around laboratory emissions tests. Shortly thereafter, the scandal spread to Europe and Asia, and VW subsidiaries Audi, Seat, and Skoda were implicated in the alleged cheating as well.
Fines and criminal sanctions have been imposed against VW and some of its key employees as a result of their involvement in the scandal. Volkswagen agreed to pay more than $25 billion in the United States to owners, regulators, states, and dealers. VW’s U.S. owner settlement, which included compensation of $5,000 – $10,000 per vehicle, in addition to vehicle buybacks, totaled more than $10 billion. The huge numbers involved show the scale of the malfeasance.
In May 2020, Germany’s highest civil court dealt another blow to VW when it ordered the automaker to pay €28,257.74 to the owner of a minivan equipped with emissions-cheating software. According to The Guardian, the ruling will lead to VW paying compensation to 60,000 German VW owners. Previously, VW reached a settlement with 240,000 drivers in Germany worth around €750m.
The previous September, VW settled an Australian class action over the emissions scandal. Under the agreement, 100,000 Australian motorists who purchased an affected Volkswagen, Audi, or Skoda vehicle will be able to access compensation of up to Aus$127m (£67.5m).
In England and Wales, as part of the group litigation going through the Courts, the Judge ruled in April that certain VW cars did in fact contain defeat devices designed to cheat emissions testing. This was a massive win for the claimants. In more good news, the Court of Appeal has recently refused VW permission to appeal the decision noting that the judgment was clearly correct and an appeal would not have a real prospect of success.
Emissions Cheating Accusations Plagues the Auto Industry
Since the VW scandal, inquiries into emissions cheating expanded to other international car manufacturers in Germany, France, Japan, and the U.S. Automakers that include Daimler, General Motors, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, BMW, Porsche, and Nissan have been accused of cheating emissions testing and/or falsifying fuel economy figures.
Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz, has been ordered to pay an €870 million fine and recall hundreds of thousands of German vehicles fitted with illegal, emissions-masking software. Reports indicate that Mercedes-Benz has started to issue recall notices in the UK, and that the number of vehicles affected could reach 500,000. Based on German recalls, affected models may include the Mercedes C-class, Vito, GLC models, and European diesels that use “BlueTEC” technology.
Milberg London represent one of the largest groups of Mercedes-Benz drivers who are looking to bring a claim against Daimler.
For more information or if you think you might be owed compensation, please see below:
Mercedes Benz Claim – more information coming soon!