Nearly 45,000 UK drivers have now teamed up for legal action against Volkswagen over emissions scandal

Rebecca Smith
Legal action is being brought on behalf of consumers by Slater and Gordon
Legal action is being brought on behalf of consumers by Slater and Gordon (Source: Getty)

Nearly 45,000 motorists have now teamed up in a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen in England and Wales, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for later this month.

The consumer group has announced today that the next hearing in the UK legal action against VW will take place in the High Court on Monday 27 November.

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In 2015, it was discovered that cars manufactured by VW had been equipped with software to evade tests, with around 1.2m cars in the UK affected, and 11m worldwide.

VW, Seat, Skoda and Audi car owners have joined the UK legal action, which was organised by law firm Harcus Sinclair. It teamed up with Slater and Gordon for the suit, saying cars with engines that were fitted with the so-called defeat device to cheat emissions tests, should never have been certified as fit for sale as they produced higher levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than the rules allowed.

Nearly 10,000 more drivers have joined the class action lawsuit since March, but the consumer group said over one million affected UK car owners were yet to join the legal action.

Gareth Pope, a group litigation solicitor at Slater and Gordon, said the number "is growing daily" though, making it "the largest consumer group in pursuit of fair compensation for owners of affected vehicles".

He said:

Slater and Gordon’s principle focus is in giving claimants a collective voice and ensuring that they are represented and compensated for the deceit they have been subjected to following the discovery that VW was selling cars fitted with defeat devices.

We will be persistent in our cause and urge VW to do the right thing and treat its UK customers in the same way that they have been forced to treat their customers in the USA and compensate owners of affected cars.

The action being brought on behalf of the consumer group by Slater and Gordon is being funded by Therium Capital Management.

Volkswagen Group UK has said that only "a very small number of customers have expressed interest in taking legal action against us in England". The car giant added that the vast majority of customers affected were satisfied with the actions it is taking.

"We have said all along that we will robustly defend any litigation that is brought against us in England, and we have made it clear to the claimant law firms that we do not anticipate that any of our customers will in fact have suffered any loss as a result of the NOx emissions issue," Volkswagen added. "The vehicles are safe and roadworthy, and perform as advertised."

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