VW drivers who may have been sold cars which had ‘defeat devices’ to cheat emissions tests have been urged to join a class action against the carmaker, with just 50 days remaining to join the claim.
The call to join the class action comes from law firm Slater and Gordon which is raising what it considers is a case on behalf of affected VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda diesel car-users, of which there are believed to be around 1.2 million in the UK alone.
Affected vehicles had been installed with software capable of detecting when the car was being tested in a lab and could switch on emissions control systems, which would otherwise not be used, to paint a false picture of the vehicle’s emissions performance and to meet legal standards.
Vehicles affected are likely to include any VW, Audi, Seat or Skoda cars which have a 1.2, 1.6 or 2 litre diesel engine, made between 2008 and 2015 and purchased before 1 January 2016.
Car-owners could be due compensation, the law firm claims, with the car company having had to pay out around $US14 billion in fines in the United States.
Eligible car owners have until 4pm on Friday 26 October to join the class action.
Gareth Pope, head of group litigation for Slater and Gordon said: “VW have shown astonishing contempt for UK customers by refusing to admit fault in this country, over the same issue they have paid compensation for elsewhere.
“They are banking on current and former owners not signing up to a group action like our own.
“We want to make sure every driver gets the compensation they deserve and that the car giants are made to pay for their dishonest practices.
“That’s why we would encourage any affected drivers to join our group action, regardless of whether or not your car has had the ‘fix’ applied or whether you still own it or have since sold it.â€?
When representing the car owners, Slater and Gordon said it will argue that by installing the so-called “defeat devicesâ€? in their cars to cheat on emissions tests, VW deceived people into buying cars which were not compliant with emissions regulations when they represented otherwise.
They will also claim that VW profited by “lying about the compliance of their cars and betrayed the trust of consumers who thought they were purchasing a car that met emissions standards and which was fit to be sold to UK customers when this was not the caseâ€?.