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UK News Volkswagen DID install unlawful 'defeat devices' in thousands of diesel cars sold in England and Wales, High Court rules in dieselgate class action

15:00  06 april  2020
15:00  06 april  2020 Source:   thisismoney.co.uk

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Volkswagen installed unlawful “ defeat devices ” in thousands of its diesel vehicles, the high court has found in the first major ruling on mass litigation brought in England and Wales over the “ dieselgate ” emissions scandal. About 90,000 motorists who bought VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda

Volkswagen "cheated" European emissions rules designed "to save lives" by installing unlawful " defeat devices " in diesel cars , the High Court has heard. Tens of thousands of UK motorists who bought VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda diesel cars are taking legal action in the aftermath of the

Volkswagen did install unlawful 'defeat devices' in thousands of its diesel vehicles, the High Court has found in the first major ruling on mass litigation brought in England and Wales over the dieselgate emissions scandal.

Solicitors representing vehicle owners who bought VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars fitted with the EA 189 diesel engine have taken legal action for compensation in a case that could be the largest consumer action in English legal history.

In a judgment delivered on Monday, Mr Justice Waksman ruled that 'the software function in issue in this case is indeed a defeat device' under EU regulations.

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Tens of thousands of British drivers on Monday accused Volkswagen of fitting devices to cheat clean air laws at the start of the country's biggest class action lawsuit brought to tackle " dieselgate ". Volkswagen has said about 11 million cars worldwide - and 1.2 million in Britain - were.

Volkswagen 'cheated' emissions standards designed to 'save lives' by installing unlawful devices in its diesel vehicles, High Court hears. German car giant Volkswagen has been accused of fitting devices to cheat clean air laws as it was claimed car pollution kills 23,000 people a year in the UK.

a sign on the side of a brick building: The High Court today ruled in favour of consumers that Volkswagen had fitted cars with the EA 189 diesel engine that was emboiled in the 2015 emissions cheating scandal with unlawful 'defeat devices' © Provided by This Is Money The High Court today ruled in favour of consumers that Volkswagen had fitted cars with the EA 189 diesel engine that was emboiled in the 2015 emissions cheating scandal with unlawful 'defeat devices'

The judge described VW's argument that the German transport authority's decision as to the existence of the defeat device was not binding as 'an abuse of process'.

The ruling will be marked as a huge success for law firm Leigh Day, which has been heading-up the case with fellow law firm Slater & Gordon on behalf of owners.

It says VW 'cheated' European emissions standards, which were designed 'to save lives', by installing unlawful 'defeat devices' in its diesel vehicles, meaning the vehicles were emitting up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen dioxide when out on the road.

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Lawyers bring biggest class action of its kind in Britain against carmaker over emissions scandal. But in Europe VW is still denying the software in question was an illegal defeat device – despite German regulators having ruled in 2015 that the software was designed to cheat emissions tests.

In 2014 onwards, software which manipulated air pollution tests was discovered in vehicles from some car makers; the software recognized when the standardized emissions test was being done

In September 2015, Volkswagen Group announced that 11 million vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK, were affected, prompting a flurry of litigation around the world.

The aftermath of the scandal has seen VW pay out more than 30 billion euros (£26 billion) in fines, recall costs and civil settlements, and has led to criminal charges by German prosecutors against current and former senior employees.

The English litigation was filed back in 2016, but reached what lawyers described as 'a decisive court battle' at a preliminary hearing in December when the High Court was asked to decide whether software installed in VW cars was a 'defeat device' under EU regulations.

The High Court judge said in a statement issued remotely on Monday that he was 'far from alone' in his conclusion that Volkswagen's actions were unlawful, referring to 'numerous courts and other bodies in various other jurisdictions (which) agree that the software function here is a defeat device'.

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Hundreds of thousands of VW diesel cars with ‘ defeat devices ’ in UK. Eleven million vehicles with the ‘ defeat devices ’ were sold worldwide and hundreds of thousands are thought Owners, whose cars could plunge in value, can now band together in ‘collective actions ’ under the Consumer Rights

Tens of thousands of British drivers on Monday accused Volkswagen of fitting devices to cheat clean air laws Volkswagen has said about 11 million cars worldwide - and 1.2 million in Britain - were fitted with “This trial will establish once and for all whether VW installed prohibited ‘ defeat devices ’ in

Mr Justice Waksman described some of Volkswagen's arguments that the vehicles did not contain defeat device as 'completely irrelevant', 'hopeless' and 'highly flawed'.

He added: 'While I take comfort from that fact, I make it clear that there is no need to resort to it because in my judgment the answer is so plain in any event.'

a car on display: In a judgment delivered on Monday, Mr Justice Waksman ruled that 'the software function in issue in this case is indeed a defeat device' under EU regulations © Provided by This Is Money In a judgment delivered on Monday, Mr Justice Waksman ruled that 'the software function in issue in this case is indeed a defeat device' under EU regulations

The judge also stated that 'a software function which enables a vehicle to pass the test because (artificially) it operates the vehicle in a way which is bound to pass the test and in which it does not operate on the road is a fundamental subversion of the test and the objective behind it'.

He added: 'In other words, it destroys the utility of the test because it makes it impossible for performance under it to be the approximation of normal driving conditions and performance which it is intended to be.'

Bozena Michalowska-Howells, solicitor from law firm Leigh Day, described the ruling as a 'hugely significant' moment for its clients, who have been battling for four years to hold Volkswagen to account.

Dieselgate: UK Volkswagen owners win ruling over emissions scandal

  Dieselgate: UK Volkswagen owners win ruling over emissions scandal Nearly 90,000 Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen car owners win ruling in British compensation case saying brands did use unlawful ‘defeat devices’The class action lawsuit, which could be the largest consumer action in English legal history, involves almost 90,000 owners of Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen models. They are claiming for compensation over the installation of illegal ‘defeat devices’ to cheat European emissions standards.

Volkswagen owners who feel they were misled into buying polluting cars are seeking £3,000 each in The VW emissions scandal involved around 11million cars worldwide. The UK class action This is because, it is alleged, they produced higher levels of harmful NOx emissions than the rules allowed.

Germany’s top court may force Volkswagen to compensate thousands of customers with diesel cars fitted with Registered in England and Wales . Number 8860726. More than 400,000 disgruntled European customers have joined various group action suits against the group, whose brands include

'Our clients bought their vehicles in good faith and are fully entitled to expect them to comply with the law,' she explained.

'Many of our clients have been horrified to find out that they had been driving vehicles which were much more harmful to the environment than they were led to believe.

'We hope that Volkswagen accepts the court’s decision and we urge them to now do the right thing and put their customers first by entering into settlement negotiations so that our clients are not forced to drag VW through the courts and be faced with further years of litigation to determine their losses.'

a close up of a bench: The case against Volkswagen could become the largest consumer action in English legal history © Provided by This Is Money The case against Volkswagen could become the largest consumer action in English legal history

While the ruling will pile pressure on Volkswagen, the world's third biggest car producer, the manufacturer - like the rest of the industry - is already battling a difficult environment given the dip in vehicle sales following the dieselgate scandal.

And with the coronavirus having a huge global impact on auto production and sales, costs are mounting up for the German manufacturer and its rivals.

In a statement after the ruling, Gareth Pope, head of group litigation at Slater and Gordon, which represents around 70,000 claimants, added: 'This damning judgment confirms what our clients have known for a long time, but which VW has refused to accept: namely that VW fitted defeat devices into millions of vehicles in the UK in order to cheat emissions tests.

'The case exposed VW's approach to this litigation and its customers, refusing to admit wrongdoing and compensate its customers in favour of running drawn-out and pointless litigation.

'The court's conclusion that the existence of software was a 'fundamental subversion' of tests designed to limit pollution and make our air safe to breathe exposes VW's disregard for EU emissions regulations and public health in pursuit of profit and market dominance.

'VW's utter failure to convince the court of the merits of its case means that now is surely time for it to settle these claims and put this shameful episode behind it.'

This is Money has contacted Volkswagen for comment.

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