In the UK, vehicles must comply with legal emissions standards. However, the Volkswagen Group (which includes VW, Audi, Skoda, and SEAT) fitted a defeat device into some of its diesel-engine vehicles and tricked the regulation testing system. As a result, many Volkswagen Group vehicles appeared to comply with the required emissions standards when they did not.
People who bought affected vehicles were misled about their efficiency and environmental friendliness and have suffered losses as a result. These Volkswagen diesel owners may be entitled to thousands of pounds each.
Keller Lenkner UK is holding Volkswagen Group to account for breaking the law and deceiving its customers. But what else do you need to know about this case?
Volkswagen Group FAQs
The Volkswagen Group equipped millions of its vehicles with software that was used to cheat emissions tests. This defeat device was installed into certain Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat diesel engines. It is alleged that the Volkswagen Group did this to sell vehicles which harmed the environment. These vehicles were not fit or lawful for driving on UK roads. We believe that the manufacturer deliberately misled regulators and customers and set out to cheat the system. As such, we are claiming compensation to hold the Volkswagen Group to account.
A group action is already well underway against several members of the Volkswagen Group, including Audi, Seat and Skoda, and other parties, such as authorised dealerships. This action involves approximately 100,000 claimants. In this case, the High Court has ordered the Volkswagen Group to make a multi-million-pound payment to the claimants. The Volkswagen Group has applied for permission to appeal this payment at the Court of Appeal. We consider it unlikely that the Court will grant this permission to appeal. The period for joining that particular claim has closed.
While this action reaches its conclusion, we are determined that the tens of thousands of other affected individuals do not miss out, which is why we have started a new group action.
If you are part of the current proceedings in respect of the same car(s), then you cannot join our claim.
Our easy to use online form will take you through the various questions that we need you to answer to start the process. You can find out if you qualify to join our claim in a few minutes. We suggest that you have copies of the following documents to hand when completing the questionnaire:
- your V5C registration document
- any invoices for the purchase (and sale) of your car
- any leasing or finance documents relating to the car
- any correspondence you may have been sent about the problems with your car including the document inviting you to have a technical fix applied.
Tell us as much as you can. If you join the group, we will try and find out more information for you. However, if critical paperwork is missing, we may not be able to progress your claim. To register, you must be able to provide documentation proving your ownership of the vehicle and your identity as a minimum.
If you bought your diesel vehicle before 1st June 2008, then you do not qualify. If you purchased after 1st June 2008, the date on which you purchased the car might still prevent you from bringing a claim (or from bringing certain types of claims), but this will depend on many factors, including whether you purchased the vehicle outright or on finance, and the car manufacturer. Once we have all the necessary details from you, we will review your claim, and if you are out of time, we will let you know.
You can still make a claim. However the date of your last payment could determine what kind of claim you can bring, so let us know the details of any finance agreement. You must continue to meet any outstanding financial obligations.
That depends on your case. Please provide us with as much information as you can about your losses, including any complaints that you made at the time, and upload any supporting documents that you have. This will help our team to assess the value of your claim.
You can still claim. We do not believe that the fixes applied by the manufacturers will affect your compensation claim. Many customers who had the fix applied have reported adverse effects on the performance of their car and fuel economy or have experienced other problems since the fix. When you submit your claim, you should (if possible) provide copies of any letters you have received relating to the fix, including the letter inviting you to have the fix applied.
It does not matter if you did not have the fix applied to your vehicle. You can still claim compensation.
The claim(s) you can make will depend on your circumstances. In general, potential claims include breach of contract, breach of regulations and legislation in force at the time, and breach of consumer protection legislation. Volkswagen and Audi are also facing claims for fraud and dishonesty because the car manufacturers deliberately set out to cheat the system and misled regulators and customers about this.
Unfortunately, if you bought your vehicle through a limited company, you do not qualify to join our group action claim. There may be other solicitors who can help you. If you bought your vehicle through a sole trader business or a partnership business, then you should be able to join our action. If you have a vehicle funded by your company but purchased in your name through a lease or finance agreement, then you should be able to claim. Complete our online form to register your details, and our team will let you know whether you can join our group action.
The Keller Lenkner UK claim only relates to cars with a 1.2l, 1.6l or 2.0l diesel engine manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat. If you have a vehicle with a different engine size (e.g. a 3.0l car, or a vehicle with a petrol engine), you cannot join our claim. If you received a letter inviting you to take your vehicle to a garage to have a technical fix applied, then you probably have an affected vehicle. If you didn’t receive one of these letters, or you can’t remember whether you did, then you may still qualify. Complete our online form to register your details, and our team will let you know whether you can join our group action.
We will work for you under a no win, no fee agreement. This means that you will only have to pay us if you win (except where you have told us something untrue or otherwise misled us about your claim). You will not have to pay anything upfront, and any payment would come out of the money that we recover on your behalf (the damages). If you are successful, we will deduct 45% (including VAT) of your damages plus certain expenses. We deduct this fee from the money that we receive from the defendants before we pay anything to you. You will not be required to make any additional payment to us.
No, we are only acting on behalf of claimants who purchased their vehicles in England and Wales. There may be other solicitors who will be able to help if you bought your car outside of England and Wales.
That depends on your case. It could be several hundred pounds, but we think it is more likely to be several thousand pounds.
It makes no difference. You can still bring a claim.
There has been activity in other countries such as the USA, Australia, Germany and Poland. The Volkswagen Group have taken different positions depending on the applicable laws and the approach taken by the regulators in that country.
A significant 12.8 billion (approx. £10.3 billion) settlement was reached in June 2016 between the Volkswagen Group and around 475,000 car owners.
Volkswagen has settled multiple consumer class actions and was ordered by the Australian Court, following a legal action brought by the Australian consumer watchdog ACCC, to pay a record fine of around A$125 (approx. £66 million) for breaching Australian consumer law by failing to disclose the existence of defeat devices in vehicles imported into Australia.
Volkswagen and the German consumer group, VZBV, have agreed an out-of-court settlement in the main German consumer class action. The Volkswagen Group will pay €830 million (£698 million) to the approximately 260,000 consumers in Germany who joined that class action. They will receive between €1,350 and €6,257 (£1,140 and £5,300) each.
In addition to the VZBV claim, there are approximately 60,000 further claims pending in the German courts.
In a test case brought by Mr Herbert against Volkswagen, the highest German court recently confirmed the prior decision of the regional court that Mr Herbert had suffered pre-meditated damage (with the judge commenting that Volkswagen’s conduct “qualified as immoral” given that “someone had been deliberately harmed”), which entitled him to return his Sharan to Volkswagen for reimbursement of his purchase price, minus a discount for the mileage that he had already benefited from (an award of €25,600 in respect of a purchase he made in 2014 for €31,500). The decision (which was made under German law, which is different to the law applicable in England and Wales) allows consumers in Germany to return their vehicles to Volkswagen for a partial refund of their purchase price.
Volkswagen has announced that it is looking to come to an agreement with the consumers involved whereby they would keep, rather than return, the vehicles, in return for a compensation payment. Whilst this decision is not binding in England and Wales, it was a further blow to Volkswagen, which is now reported to be looking to settle the claims brought by these consumers.
In January 2020, Poland’s consumer watchdog UOKiK fined the Volkswagen Group more than 120 million zlotys (£23.8 million) for misleading customers about the emissions of its vehicles.
It is important to remember that the basis of a calculation for a settlement of a claim against the Volkswagen Group in another country (such as the recent settlement in Germany) may well be different to the calculation used for the settlement of a claim brought in the UK (or by the UK Court when assessing damages).
Don’t lose out on your chance to claim with Keller Lenkner UK
If you have purchased or leased a VW, Audi, SEAT or Skoda between June 2008 and December 2015, you may have a no-win, no-fee claim. If you are not sure if you have a claim, it is worth completing our short online questionnaire to find out.
The law gives people six years from the day the scandal was uncovered to take legal action against Volkswagen Group. This deadline runs out later this year. Sign up now to ensure you do not miss out.