Five shipping companies who ran a cartel for importing cars to the UK will face a class action lawsuit.
MOL, “K” Line, NYK, WWL/EUKOR and CSAV are being sued for overcharging UK consumers and businesses.
The European Commission ruled in 2018 they had breached competition rules by coordinating rates and capacity.
Brussels imposed a €395m (£336m) fine and its investigation was one of many from around the world.
Bringing the case through the Competition Appeals Tribunal means all affected motorists and businesses in the UK are included in the claim automatically.
Consumers must have purchased or leased their vehicle between October 2006 and September 2015 in order to take part in the action.
“When UK consumers and businesses purchased or leased a new car, they paid more for the delivery of that car than they should have done, as a results of a long-running cartel by five of the world’s leading maritime shipping companies,” said the class action’s representative Mark McClaren.
McClaren worked at consumer rights publisher Which for nine years and is supported by an advisory committee.
The cartel affected several well known passenger cars and light commercial vehicles from several well-known car brands.
Specialist law firm Scott and Scott will act on the case.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to act on behalf of UK consumers – both individuals and businesses – to help them recoup the losses they have suffered as a result of this long running cartel,” David Scott, of Scott & Scott, said.
The claims have been filed to the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal under the terms of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Affected car brands include Ford, Volkswagan, Peugeot and Toyota.