VW Emissions Scandal update – ‘Dieselgate’ spreads to petrol cars
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Date Published:11 Mar 2016 Last Updated:19 Jan 2022

VW Emissions Scandal update – ‘Dieselgate’ spreads to petrol cars

Banking & Finance Litigation

The latest revelation from VW could potentially have a much bigger financial impact on its UK customers than previously thought.

Update on the Scandal

It was previously established that 1.2 million diesel vehicles sold in the UK were fitted with illegal ‘defeat devices’, and so diesel vehicles were reported to produce up to 40 times more pollution than allowed, so effectively cheating essential emissions tests. If you would like to know more about the initial ‘dieselgate’ scandal, and find out if your vehicle has been affected, then please follow this link.

The scandal so far has been all about NOx emissions, but this is now no longer the case, and the issue has spread to include falsified figures of CO2 emissions. This is thought to be a bigger problem for VW as the company has nothing to recall to fix, rather the latest confessions imply simply falsely declared CO2 emissions, and so there are not any technical issues with the car. The CO2 ‘irregularities’ are believed to have affected about 800,000 cars and in a statement VW said:

“It was established that the CO2 levels and thus the fuel consumption figures for some models were set too low during the CO2 certification process. The majority of the vehicles concerned have diesel engines.”

This does however suggest that diesel engines are not the only source of VW’s worries, but that petrol engines are also affected.

Impact of increased level of CO2 emissions

CO2 emissions have long been a part of the UK tax system, so if you drive a VW that emits more CO2 than previously disclosed, you could now be facing a higher tax bill.

Not only does the level of CO2 emissions impact on your tax bill, but any rise in CO2 will also lead to a rise in fuel consumption. As a result, VW owners in the UK could have chosen the car they did specifically because of a falsified figure.

Strengthened legal case

Ellis Jones has been considering a number of possible remedial options on behalf of those who have been affected by the emissions cheating scandal. Future claims against the Volkswagen Group, in relation to ‘dieselgate’, may be possible because of consumer law breaches, misrepresentation and breach of contract.

However the recent confession, of falsified CO2 emissions, may now strengthen any potential legal case. Those customers who brought VW’s, specifically because of the low levels of CO2 emitted, may bring a claim against VW on the grounds of false advertising as motorists were led to believe the vehicles would have lower tax rates and fuel efficiency. This is also particularly problematic for VW as vehicle excise duty is calculated based on either engine size or fuel type and CO2 emissions.

The scandal has also affected the value of owners vehicles, those who are trying to sell their cars may bring a claim against VW because they may get a lower price as a result of the admissions.

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

Ellis Jones is currently collating a client base of individuals affected by this scandal, and are considering the most appropriate and cost effective way to seek compensation, which may result in group legal action against Volkswagen.

Ellis Jones is aware that VW has set aside approximately €6.7bn costs for ‘dieselgate’ and now an initial estimate of €2bn costs for the latest CO2 emissions revelations, which allows margin to cater for compensating customers for ‘lost’ fuel costs and/or residual value impact.

However, VW has again provided very little information about what they intend to do to repair the problem, in relation to both the cheat devices and the CO2 irregularities, and so have left their customers in limbo whilst the value of their vehicle depreciates.

We therefore recommend that you contact either William Fox Bregman within the Dispute Resolution team on 01202 525333 or email william.foxbregman@ellisjones.co.uk.