William Fox Bregman
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Banking and Finance Litigation
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Date Published:11 Mar 2016 Last Updated:22 Jul 2021

The VW emissions scandal – what will happen next?

Banking & Finance Litigation

What is the scandal?

Further to an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency, Volkswagen announced that up to 11 million cars worldwide could be affected after they admitted to vehicles being fitted with illegal “defeat devices”. This means that the cars’ pollution controls only work when being tested for emissions. The rest of the time, it is reported that the vehicles will produce up to 40 times more pollution than allowed, so effectively cheating essential emissions tests.

It has since been established that 1.2 million of its diesel vehicles sold in the UK are fitted with the software behind the emissions scandal. Consequently the UK is the second most-affected country so far, behind Germany where 2.8 million vehicles will have to be recalled.

It includes diesel-powered cars with the VW brand, Audi, Seat and Skoda as well as VW commercial vehicles.

What will happen next?

In the next few days the company will give the vehicle identification numbers to retailers, thereafter VW and the manufacturers will then start contacting owners. It is believed that the recall will begin in January. It seems the manufacturers will then organise a repair at a garage most convenient to you.

It is worth knowing that if you ignore the safety recall this will seriously affect the value of your car and could invalidate an insurance claim.

However, VW is yet to provide any concrete guidance on the next steps or information as to how long this process may take. It is thought it may take up to 6 weeks before any letters are sent to the vehicle owners.

Has my vehicle been affected?

The emissions-cheating software scandal has affected owners of diesel engine vehicles with an EA 189 EU5 engine, including 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 litre, sold between 2008-2014.

Here is a breakdown of the number of cars affected:

  • VW private cars – 508,276
  • VW commercial vehicles – 79,838
  • Audi – 393,450
  • Skoda – 131,569
  • Seat – 76,773

Cars fitted with the cheating software can be identified by their unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN number can be found attached to the drivers side of the dashboard where it meets the window or on the drivers side door near where the door latches. If you cannot find your VIN, refer to your vehicle manual.

Once your VIN number has been located you can visit the appropriate website below to find out if your car is fitted with the cheat device:

  • Click here to go to the VW website
  • Click here to go to the Audi website
  • Click here to go to the Skoda website
  • Click here to go to the SEAT website

If you have been affected we can help you on a no win no fee basis

The scandal, which has wiped more than a third off the value of VW, could result in a spate of court claims being issued against the company. VW’s CEO Matthias Mueller has been contacted to demand that the company agree to a settlement to compensate consumers.

Ellis Jones is considering a number of possible remedial options to be taken on behalf of those who have been affected by the scandal. Future claims against the Volkswagen Group may be a possibility because of consumer law breaches, misrepresentation and breach of contract.

As VW has provided little clarity as to what remedial action will be proposed, it is recommended that you contact Ellis Jones Solicitors to register with us, we will then let you know of any potential legal compensation and how we can help you on a no win no fee basis.

Please contact our Group & Specialist Litigation Partner, William Fox Bregman on 01202 525333 or email william.foxbregman@ellisjones.co.uk