VW Scandal: Legal Experts Call On Government To Act

Troubled Car Manufacturer To Offer Compensation To US Customers But Not Brits


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

Consumer rights experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell have condemned a decision by Volkswagen to deny compensation to the British owners of cars involved in the emissions rigging scandal.

The company has already announced there will be payments worth $500 (£330) to drivers in the USA and a further $500 in credit vouchers.

However, the German car giant said these payments will not be extended to customers in Europe.

In a statement to ‘BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours’, VW said it was committed to putting right any cars affected, but added that the company was ‘not planning any further financial payouts.’

Two months ago, the US authorities announced that Volkswagen Group cars were equipped with defeat software allowing it to cheat on air pollutant emission tests.

Subsequently, VW had to admit that more than 11 million cars were affected globally.

It is thought that in the UK alone up to 1.2 million cars have been fitted with the software, known as the ‘defeat device’, potentially meaning vehicles do not meet recognised regulations in relation to emissions.

Further information was revealed earlier this month regarding CO2 emission concerns in petrol engined cars and it has also been confirmed that more than half of the affected vehicles are next year’s models – some of which are already commercially available.

Lindsey Pedley, Associate solicitor and specialist in consumer law at Irwin Mitchell, who are representing over 2000 VW customers in the UK, condemned the decision and called on the Government to take steps to force VW to treat British consumers in the same way as those in the US.

For more information and to register for updates and advice from our legal experts on the issue, visit our specialist page.

Expert Opinion
“It is worrying that, even before the results of the official investigation have come back, Volkswagen are already ruling out paying compensation to their European customers.

They have kept their customers in the dark and left them wondering if they have essentially been mis-sold vehicles which do not meet current European emission standards. They don’t know if their cars will need modifications and if so, how this might affect performance, fuel consumption and the future re-sale value of the vehicle.

We are urging VW to treat British customers with the respect they deserve and reconsider their position on compensation. If they don’t then perhaps it is time for the Government to intervene and put pressure on the firm to ensure they accept responsibility in a manner which protects the consumer.

Our clients can rest assured that if VW fail to negotiate a settlement package for British customers we shall be pursuing further legal action on their behalf.”
Lindsey Pedley, Associate