You may recall the news from last year about millions of Volkswagen vehicles having software in the engines which essentially cheated the emissions tests. The cars were actually polluting the air significantly more than recorded and breaching the legal limits imposed to protect the environment. This problem was present in vehicles all over the world and lead to a significant amount of litigation against the manufacturers, including class actions in America.
Last week, details emerged that one of these class actions in America has resulted in a preliminary agreement whereby the owners of the vehicles affected will be given the option to have the vehicles bought back, together with receiving a compensation payment. Whilst the exact details of the settlement are yet to be finalised, the information provided includes confirmation that compensation to the drivers of these vehicles would be “substantial”. The American class actions are of course governed by different laws, however by settling the claims in America, and offering a buyback option, the manufacturer has set a precedent as to how they are dealing with these claims. Since the announcement, there have therefore been calls for similar offers to be made across the world to all consumers affected by the emissions faults.
Reports have also now confirmed that Volkswagen is not the only manufacturer to be in this position, with Mitsubishi Motors now releasing a statement confirming their vehicles’ data had also been misrepresented. It is understood that employees at Mitsubishi’s Japanese factory were manipulating the settings when testing the vehicles’ fuel economy. These manipulations have resulted in false findings for hundreds of thousands of Mitsubishi and Nissan vehicles across Japan. The company does not appear to yet know the extent of this, confirming that they are investigating the position in relation to vehicles sold outside of Japan. It is understood that authorities across the world are requesting details of the vehicles potentially affected to determine whether this problem is as wide-reaching as the Volkswagen scandal, though at present the extent is simply not known.
Here at Stephensons we currently act for a number of clients in relation to a claim against Volkswagen arising from the emissions scandal. If you believe you may have been affected and you want further information in relation to your potential claim, contact our dispute resolution team on 01616 966 229, including the vehicle type, date of purchase and price paid. If your case is something that we can then help you further with, we can then discuss funding arrangements as we may be able to consider a “no win no fee” agreement, depending on the exact circumstances.