Volkswagen could be forced to pay out a further £30 million in compensation to customers after owners in the UK and Europe demanded compensation of £3,000 each.
Owners in the US have already been guaranteed a share of a £15billion settlement, with 500,000 owners set to benefit from the scheme, a further £940m in compensation will be handed to US Volkswagen dealers, with 652 dealers in the part of the group’s £12.8 billion diesel emissions settlement.
Volkswagen’s US dealers will get an average of £1.4m over 18 months under the settlement first announced in principle in August.
But no compensation had been offered in relation to the dieselgate scandal in Europe, Volkswagen agreeing only to “fix” affected models.
Now a legal case is being spearheaded by Harcus Sinclair UK for a consortium of law firms including Slater and Gordon will seek compensation for 10,000 Volkswagen owners in the UK and Europe.
Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair, told the Daily Mail that owners were “angry and believe that VW might get away with it”.
He added: “They feel that they have been left with no choice but to take legal action. We have paved the way for consumers who trusted but were let down by VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda to seek redress through our courts.
Parker said that there would be no cost to consumers making a claim against Volkswagen.
It is understood that the case revolves around making the case that consumers bought Volkswagen vehicles in the belief that they were paying a premium for a car that was cleaner than its rivals, boasting lower emissions.
As yet there is no suggestion that UK Volkswagen dealers will benefit from a similar compensation package to their US counterparts.
The UK government has been accused of complacency in its dealings with Volkswagen and announced in the autumn that it will not immediately pursue Volkswagen Group in court for emissions cheating.
In July, the transport select committee (TSC) accused ministers and the Department for Transport (DfT) of being “too slow to assess the use of its powers under the Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2009 to prosecute Volkswagen for its deception”, and said the group’s differing treatment of UK and US consumers was “deeply unfair”.
However, the Government has now responded that, while it believes affected UK owners should be compensated for the “inconvenience, uncertainty and worry caused by Volkswagen’s cheating”, it would not launch an immediate legal investigation. Instead, it will “monitor” an existing criminal inquiry in Germany before considering its next steps.