AM Online

Car shipping firms face £150m compensation claim for price fixing

Car buyers could be entitled to compensation from five of the world’s largest shipping companies as part of a class action lawsuit has been given the green light this week.

Motorists who bought or leased a new car between October 2006 and September 2015 are automatically included in the claim, which is seeking damages worth around £150m.

It is estimated that some 17m vehicles are involved, with estimated payouts of £60 per vehicle.

The European Commission (EC) found that five shipping firms fixed prices, rigged bids and allocated the market for roll-on, roll-off (“RoRo”) transport. 

According to the EC, the carriers had agreed to maintain the status quo in the market and to respect each other’s ongoing business on certain routes, or with certain customers, by quoting artificially high prices or not quoting at all in tenders for vehicle manufacturers. 

The Shipping firms were fined 395m euros by the EC, in March 2020.

London’s specialist competition court, the Competition Appeal Tribunal, has now given the green light to a class action to claim against five shipping companies that imported cars into Europe. 

The Tribunal confirmed that a special purpose company led by Mark McLaren, formerly of The Consumers' Association, will act as the Class Representative. He is represented by the London office of international law firm Scott + Scott, and barristers from Brick Court chambers, funded by Woodsford.  

Woodsford’s chief Investment Officer, Charlie Morris, commented: 

“This is an important milestone in the promotion of collective redress in the UK, which allows consumers and small businesses to achieve compensation for the wrongs committed by big business. Woodsford, a business dedicated to holding corporates to account and delivering access to justice, is proud to support Mr. McLaren, who is now much closer to obtaining compensation for the millions of consumers and businesses who have been overcharged.” 

The latest AM industry special issue

The presence of a powerful and active regulator in the marketplace, the Financial Conduct Authority, means there has never been the attention given to the critical driver of new and used car markets, point of sale finance and insurance. 

Plus, with the Consumer Duty soon to be introduced, no automotive manager can afford to relax - or not read our new special report.

The potential risks from failure are substantial. 

Legal experts and finance houses share their views in our Spotlight on Finance & Insurance.

Read now

If you are not a registered user your comment will go to AM for approval before publishing. To avoid this requirement please register or login.

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.