Milberg London Logo

VOLKSWAGEN DIESEL EMISSIONS SCANDAL

The group action ahead of us has settled!

This is fantastic news. If you are a claimant in our group, remember to check your emails and complete all of your paperwork so we can settle your case too – see our FAQs for more detail on what you need to do.

About the claim

More than a million VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT drivers could be due compensation because we believe these manufacturers installed special software (known as a ‘defeat device’) in certain Diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests. If we are right, affected owners were mis-sold cars that are more polluting than the law allows and worth less than the cost they paid. Drivers were sold a combination of environmental impact and driving performance that was a fiction. Unable to meet international emissions standards, these cars should never have been allowed on the road.

The Volkswagen Group is at the centre of the Dieselgate scandal and has been ordered to compensate consumers all over the world. If you’ve been affected, we believe you deserve compensation, and we intend to get it for you.

Latest Update

The group action ahead of us has settled!

This is fantastic news. If you are a claimant in our group, remember to check your emails and complete all of your paperwork so we can settle your case too – see our FAQs for more detail on what you need to do.

Are you eligible?

If you purchased, financed or leased a Diesel VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT (new or used) between 2008 and 2015, you may be eligible for thousands of pounds in compensation. Unfortunately, we are not on-boarding any more clients at this time, but you may have already signed up with us. If you think you did sign-up with Milberg previously, please check your emails. There is lots going on in the case and we want you to be a part of it!

Exhaust Emissions
Car light

Why should you be part of the VW Pay Up campaign?

If you are eligible, it costs you nothing to be part of our legal action. Anyone who is affected could be due thousands of pounds in compensation. So, if you have previously signed up, make sure to complete the requested paperwork!

Representatives of the VW Group have publicly admitted to using a software program to defeat the emissions testing regime and stated there is no excuse for these “manipulations”. They recognised the detrimental impact their “misconduct” caused to the economy and to consumer trust. The Group also claimed they will do “everything necessary in order to reverse the damage this has caused”.

It costs absolutely nothing to be part of the group litigation against VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT. Cases have already been settled by the car manufacturers in Australia, the US, Germany, Spain and elsewhere.
If eligible, our law firm will take on your case and it will be managed by an exceptional team of top litigators in London.
If successful, each driver could be owed thousands in compensation.

What exactly did VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT do, and how did it harm their customers?

Representatives of the VW Group publicly admitted to installing ‘defeat devices’ in certain Diesel cars designed to reduce emissions levels in a regulatory test environment. The practical effect of a defeat device is that the car can detect when it is in a test environment (because the tests have standard conditions which the defeat device is designed to identify) and tell the engine to reduce the pollutants it is producing in order to pass that test. In doing so, the performance of the car is also reduced.

When the car is in normal driving conditions (i.e., most if not all of the time), it maintains optimal performance, and as a result the vehicle pumps out unlawful levels of NOx and other pollutants without the driver realising. Without passing these tests, the cars would not have been cleared to drive on UK roads and they do not meet the environmental and performance standards promised in the glove compartment handbook.

We believe that these affected vehicles pumped more harmful NOx into the atmosphere than the law allows. Public Health England estimates that NOx is a ‘major component’ of urban air pollution generally, causing up to 36,000 premature deaths per year.

Drivers were sold a combination of environmental impact and driving performance that was a fiction – it could never happen under normal driving conditions.

Just 7.5% of affected consumers have come forward to claim compensation in the English Courts so far. We want to help more motorists hold the VW Group to account.  

After the ‘defeat’ code deployed by VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT brought the public’s attention to the Dieselgate scandal, the group has since paid out hundreds of millions of pounds in settlements in the US, Germany and Australia. There is also a group litigation against the VW Group in England & Wales where the trial is due to be heard in January 2023 (known as the VW NoX Emissions Group Litigation). The deadline for joining these proceedings has passed; however we are in the process of bringing a second group litigation if necessary to ensure everyone affected can receive compensation. We are therefore watching the proceedings closely and taking the necessary steps to protect our clients’ claims.

About the GLO process

The premise of a Group Litigation Order is simple. If you are an affected driver and are part of the campaign, you will pay absolutely nothing, even in the event of a loss at court.

A Group Litigation Order (‘GLO’ for short) has already been made against VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT. The deadline for joining this group litigation was December 2018, so it is Milberg’s intention to bring a second Group Litigation Order if necessary to ensure all those affected receive compensation.

Unfortunately, we are no longer onboarding clients. However, if you have signed up and returned the requested paperwork, you and the other claimants will be represented by Milberg London LLP, a global law firm that has vast experience in handling similar claims.

If the legal claim is successful, the agreement you sign will mean that you benefit from both the final damages and a share of the legal costs paid out by VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT. It is also possible a settlement is agreed before trial.

Meet your legal team

James Oldnall Headshot

James Oldnall

Managing Partner

Edward Cardington Headshot

Edward Cardington

Partner

Polly Blenkin Headshot

Polly Blenkin

Associate Partner

James Taylor Headshot

James Taylor

Associate Partner

Nicola Vinovški Headshot

Nicola Vinovrški

Partner

I got in touch with Milberg through a friend. They helped me with a delayed payment from an employer. They were very professional and kept me informed throughout the process. My experience with their service was excellent. I will contact them again if I require legal advice.

Sally

Good service and kept up to date

Paul Neil

Excellent in customer relations in assisting me to understand the method of claiming against being miss sold an imperfect product with emission standards not comparable to British values

Thomas Newell

Really efficient good communication. Always aware of what stage we are up to .
Helpful and friendly staff who actually answer the phone.

Mr & Mrs Lyons

Outstanding service

Wayne Barnett

So far this company's dealings with me have been entirely professional and honest. I understand these things take a long time and much information is needed, which I've provided as promptly as possible. No negative experience at all, don't understand where other negative reviews are coming from?

Richard Taylor

Not yet. Remember there is another group action ahead of us that started their case against the VW group in 2016. That case has settled. BUT this is fantastic news because we think VW will want to settle with us shortly as well. To do that, however, we still need your help. Remember to check your emails and complete all of your paperwork so we can settle your case too.

We are in discussions with third-party payment agents who have the ability to make payments to individuals on a mass scale (we act for over 30,000 people in the case against VW). Broadly speaking, once the settlement has occurred, the payment agent will be in touch to verify your identity (to make sure we pay the right people), request and validate your bank details and make the payment to you.

‘SOCI’ stands for Schedule of Claimant Information. Your SOCI will contain specific details relating to your claim that we have requested (you will have been asked to complete a survey from us at some point). It is very important you provide the information requested – please check your emails for more details or Contact Us.

Representatives of the VW group admitted to installing defeat devices in certain Diesel cars that were designed to reduce emissions levels in a regulatory test environment. Without passing these tests, the cars would not have been cleared to drive on UK roads.  The software appears to have identified when the engine was operating under regulatory test conditions and reduced the levels of pollutants being pumped out, so it passed the test. But this kind of environmental performance could never be replicated under real life driving conditions.

A defeat device is any element of design, software or hardware in a car which detects different vehicle conditions (e.g. temperature, vehicle speed, engine speed etc) and adjusts or disables the car’s emission control system. In the case of VW (and Mercedes and Vauxhall) the manufacturers appear to have written software into the computer unit that controls the engine.

 

The practical effect of a defeat device is that it can detect when it is in a test environment (because the tests have standard conditions which the defeat device can be designed to identify) and tell the engine it needs to reduce the emissions it is producing in order to pass that test.

 

By contrast, when the car is outside of a test environment (i.e., most if not all of the time), it recognises that and the vehicle pumps out unlawful levels of NOx and other pollutants without the driver realising.

 

The reason for using a defeat device appears to have been that the engines in question could not meet the emissions test and produce an acceptable consumer driving experience.

Assuming the claim succeeds, drivers that purchased, financed or leased a new or used Diesel VW, Audi, Skoda or SEAT between 2008 and 2015 did so on a false premise and may be able to receive compensation.

 

These consumers had a reasonable expectation their car would meet certain environmental and performance standards. That’s what they were promised in the glove compartment handbook.

 

The reality was that the cars were far more polluting than drivers were told. They pumped more harmful substances like NOx into the atmosphere, which are known to cause thousands of premature deaths a year in the UK – academic research has also established that long term exposure to air pollution increases the risk of serious infection and death from COVID 19. Unable to meet international emissions standards, these cars should never have been on the road.

 

The cars would also be worth less than the drivers paid for them (because VW did not deliver an environmentally compliant car which also met performance expectations) and are worth even less today in the second-hand car market. Drivers were sold a combination of environmental impact and driving performance that was a fiction – it could never happen under normal conditions and VW knew that.

 

Put simply, VW did not provide the car drivers paid for.

We estimate that over one million UK drivers have purchased or leased a new or second-hand VW, Audi, Skoda or SEAT during the period when we say VW was cheating the tests. Each of these motorists could be eligible to claim compensation.

 

We are no longer on-boarding new clients, however, if you think you may have signed up with Milberg in the past, we encourage you to check your emails or get in touch as soon as possible to see if you can progress your claim.

Drivers who bought a second-hand car from a registered VW dealership may be eligible for compensation too. Their losses may be lower than motorists who paid more for a new car.

This will depend on a range of factors including how much drivers paid for their car and how much harm the Court determines VW caused by its behaviour. Under consumer protection law motorists could recover between 25% and 75% of the price of their vehicle depending on the severity of the misleading or aggressive practice or the difference between the market price of the product at the time of sale, and the price paid.  This could be many thousands of pounds, even for second-hand owners.

Purchasers of affected cars have already been awarded compensation in other countries. Below are some examples of pay outs in similar cases in other countries. Remember, however, that the English Courts are not bound by these decisions and will have to make their own calculation of loss for vehicle owners. 

 

In the US, claimants received between US$5,000 and US$10,000 from VW.

 

In Spain, VW claimants were awarded €3,000 each. 

 

In Germany, there has been a large range of awards against VW ranging from €1,000 to tens of thousands of Euros for each claimant.

 

In the Netherlands, a court declared that first-hand VW owners were entitled to €3,000 and second-hand VW owners were entitled to €1,500

Milberg London intends to bring this claim via a Group Litigation Order (or ‘GLO’). A GLO is a procedural mechanism that allows lots of claims with "common or related issues" of fact and/or law to be managed together as one case. Whilst parties can apply for a GLO to be made, it is up to the Court whether that is the most appropriate way to manage the claim.

A GLO was granted by the Court in 2018 and the cut-off date for joining the proceedings was December 2018. As many affected consumers missed this deadline, Milberg intends to apply for a second Group Litigation Order on behalf of our clients, to ensure everyone affected can receive compensation. It is also possible a settlement is agreed before trial. 

Yes. During the course of 2021, we issued claims on behalf of tens of thousands of clients.

We cannot give you a firm timeline at the moment, but we will do so as soon as we can. We are hoping to resolve your case in the next 6 to 9 months.

Yes, this case has settled! This is fantastic news. If you are a claimant in our group, remember to check your emails and complete all of your paperwork so we can settle your case too. Read the latest news.

Unfortunately, at Milberg we are no longer on-boarding clients. If however, you have signed up previously, please ensure to send us the requested documents so you do not miss out on your chance for compensation!

Milberg London are representing their clients through a Conditional Fee Agreement (‘CFA’). A CFA means all of Milberg London’s fees depend on the success of your individual claim and the level of those fees is determined by the Agreement. It also provides that a steering committee of representative claimants have authority to instruct the lawyers on behalf of the group. This is because it would be impossible for Milberg London to take instructions from everyone individually.

That’s great! If you did, we will have your details and would have confirmed whether we believe you have an eligible claim. Please check your emails (including any old accounts you may have signed up with). You should have received various communications from us recently. Please have a look and follow the instructions.

No.

 

The lawyers only get paid if you win your individual claim (see above). If the claim is successful, the lawyers are paid in accordance with the terms of the CFA. If the case is unsuccessful, the customers pay nothing.

 

Any costs that need to be paid up-front or along the way (e.g. barristers, Court fees and experts) are covered by either Milberg London on a self-funding basis or by a litigation funder.

The lawyers are Milberg London, part of an international group of firms with significant experience of consumer and group litigation.

Milberg London are self-funding certain aspects of the case with the support of their affiliates in the US. Milberg London will also enter into a funding arrangement with a third-party funder.

Our legal team are working hard behind the scenes to progress your claim and are making good headway. We will endeavour to provide you with regular updates every 6 to 8 weeks with developments happening in your case.

 

In addition, you can always get in touch with your Case Manager for an update, email [email protected] or call us on 020 3824 6541.

There are a number of reasons why a vehicle may be ineligible:

 

  • It was not manufactured within the relevant time period.
  • It is not a model we have identified as being affected by the Diesel emissions scandal.
  • We do not have enough information or documentation from you in order to validate your claim.

Legal enquiries

To contact Milberg London please call +44 (0)20 3824 6541 or email [email protected]

Media enquiries

For any media enquiries please contact [email protected]