With Volkswagen hitting the headlines recently for cheating emissions tests in the US, drivers of their diesel cars in the UK are wondering what to expect next. Michael Jefferies, managing director at Altrincham-based Jefferies Solicitors, gives his advice on the emissions scandal, and what this means if you own a Volkswagen car in the UK.
Which cars are affected?
Check your V5C documents and service books to check if you have the Type EA189 engine. You can also call the VW UK customer care centre to confirm your engine type.
Cars in the Volkswagen Group have potentially been affected, which also includes the Skoda, Audi and Seat makes of car. These makes are owned by VW and use the same engine type, which means they may have failed the same emissions tests.
Is it possible to claim compensation?
If your diesel car has a Type EA189 engine and is one of the car makes listed above, you could be entitled to compensation. Class action against the VW Group has already started in the US, and the UK looks set to follow suit.
The key issue facing drivers that have been affected by the scandal is the loss of value to the vehicles. As well as increased fuel costs for drivers, the overall value of the vehicle is likely to depreciate. Road tax also looks set to rise for these vehicles, as well as expenses associated with future repairs.
Owners may have valid claims for breach of contract as they have purchased the vehicles as a result of misrepresentations relating to emissions.
Why will these vehicles lose value?
It is well known that diesel car emissions are potentially harmful to the environment, but the recent news on VW emissions shows them to be even more harmful than first thought. The link between increased diesel emissions and the risk to health has been reinforced, meaning consumers will be less likely to want to buy VW cars.
As such, VW drivers could be financially out-of-pocket, which is why it may now be possible to claim compensation.
How much can I claim?
The VW emissions scandal is a first of its kind in the UK, which means we’re not yet sure of the exact money you can claim. However, the way that legal cases are progressing in the US is paving the way for UK claims, so it is definitely worth enquiring about compensation, once you have confirmed that your vehicle has been affected. It also depends on the model and make of your diesel car, as well as the original cost.
We would recommend checking your engine type and contacting the VW customer care centre to inform the company first.
If you own a car that has been affected, contact us on 0800 342 3206 with your model, manufacturer details and other car details to see if you are entitled to claim compensation.