Legal history could be taking place in the UK as lawyers representing 50,000 Volkswagen car drivers are filing a lawsuit against the German carmaker. These lawyers kicked off the lawsuit last month in London’s High Court and seek to have compensation for what has been dubbed as "dieselgate", the biggest scandal of the car dealer since 2015.
This lawsuit comes after VW agreed to pay up to $25 billion to settle claims of car owners, environmentalists, states, and dealer. They also offered to buy back 500,000 vehicles polluting the US air.
This has not been done at all in Europe where the car company also faces billions of Euros in claims in the worst business crisis the company has ever faced in its 78-year history.
According to law firm Slater and Gordon, part of the team filing the lawsuit and representing 40,000 claimers in the UK, Volkswagen deceived people into buying polluting cars that surpassed emissions regulations by installing "defeat devices".
The carmaker has claimed that they will stand and defend the lawsuit robustly. They claim that there has not been any illegal emissions action and that the situation in the United States was "materially different".
“The vehicles are different, the regulatory environment is different, and the technical measures are different. The affected vehicles in the UK do not cause more pollution on the road than expected,” VW said in a statement.
Volkswagen offered European drivers a software update removing a mode that operated when the cars were experiencing test conditions. However, Slater and Gordon, who represents clients with affected VW, Audi, SEAT, and Skoda vehicles, claimed that the software fix led to mechanical issues.
The firm said they surveyed more than 11,600 affected car owners who took VW's offer for the fix. Those surveyed claimed, according to the law firm, that the cars lost power at high speed and, in general, cars "juddered".
VW replied to this survey by stating that the methodology had not been explained and that allegations were biased by the financial interest that these drivers might have.
“We have implemented the technical measures in over 840,000 vehicles in the UK and in over 6.4 million vehicles across Europe and the overwhelming majority of customers with these vehicles are satisfied,” VW said.