BREAKING: VW Inks £193M Settlement With British Drivers Over Dieselgate

Law360, London (May 25, 2022, 2:38 PM BST) — Volkswagen AG agreed Wednesday to pay British drivers £193 million ($242 million) out of court to settle claims brought by car owners who allegedly bought vehicles installed with devices to rig pollution emissions data.

Lawyers say the settlement resolves claims brought by more than 91,000 British drivers who bought cars from Volkswagen Group that produced more emissions than they thought. (

Lawyers representing more than 91,000 British drivers announced the settlement with the car giant, which has been battered by the Dieselgate scandal, after more than five years of litigation at the High Court.

Motorists sought compensation after buying cars from Volkswagen Group — including Audis, Seats and Skodas — only to find that they emitted more emissions than they thought.

“The settlement avoids the need for a lengthy, complex and expensive trial process, and we are delighted to have achieved this settlement for our customers as a result of the group action,” David Whitmore, chief executive of Slater and Gordon — one of the law firms that represented the claimants — said.

The issue came to light in September 2015 when the carmaker admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in Britain, had been fitted with software. The devices reduced readings of nitrogen oxide — a noxious gas known as NOx — emitted from the tailpipes of its vehicles.

The case was due to go to trial at the High Court in January 2023, when a judge would have considered claims for deceit and breach of statutory duty.

Some claimants would have brought claims — depending on how and when they bought their vehicles — for breach of contract and claims under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and The Consumer Credit Act.

The group action was brought on behalf of consumers by Slater and Gordon, Leigh Day and PGMBM, which will decide how to divide the settlement sum. Volkswagen is also separately paying money towards the claimants’ legal costs and other fees, the law firms said.

Tony Winterburn, a partner at PGMBM, said Wednesday’s settlement applies only to claims in the Volkswagen NOx emissions group litigation. It has no bearing on any other claims linked to other engines in England and Wales or in any other jurisdiction, Winterburn added.

VW makes no admissions of liability, causation or loss in the settlement.

“The Volkswagen Group is pleased that we have been able to conclude this long-running litigation in England and Wales,” Philip Haarmann, the automaker’s chief legal officer said in a statement.

“The settlement is another important milestone as the Volkswagen Group continues to move beyond the deeply regrettable events leading up to September 2015,” Haarmann added.

Volkswagen is represented by Charles Gibson QC, Prashant Popat QC, Kathleen Donnelly, Lucy McCormick and Celia Oldham of Henderson Chambers and by Brian Kennelly QC of Blackstone Chambers, instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

The claimants are represented by Oliver Campbell QC, Adam Heppinstall QC, Rachel Tandy and Beatrice Graham of Henderson Chambers; Thomas de la Mare QC of Blackstone Chambers; Adam Kramer QC of 3VB; and Gareth Shires of Exchange Chambers, instructed by Leigh Day, Slater & Gordon and PGMBM Law.

The case is Anthony Crossley and others v. Volkswagen and others, case number QB-2016-000011, in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Queen’s Bench Division.

–Editing by Ed Harris.

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