Lawyers were celebrating today after the High Court refused an attempt by Volkswagen to have a key element of a class action suit dismissed.
The car giant has been plagued by the “dieselgate” emissions scandal since 2015 when it emerged it had installed devices to rig its pollution emissions data.
Initially, this appeared to be a German issue but it soon spread.
More than 90,000 UK drivers are seeking compensation after buying VWs – including Skodas, Seats and Audis – that were far less green than they had understood.
Yesterday, the High Court of Justice ruled against a VW attempt to have a claim of “deceit” struck out.
Today Anexo, a credit hire and legal firm, welcomed that news.
Alan Sellers, executive chairman of Anexo, said: "The Board is pleased that the High Court has ruled VW’s attempt to strike out the deceit element of the claims against it to be without merit. This follows the ruling against them last year.
“It is now incumbent on VW to acknowledge its responsibility in this matter and agree a settlement with all those affected by its actions, as it has done in many other jurisdictions. We continue to investigate the pursuit of similar claims against other manufacturers. These have the potential to be of significant value to claimants and to the Group."
Bond Turner, Anexo’s legal services division, is handling a claim against VW on behalf of 15,000 car owners.
VW has spent about £25 billion globally so far on legal costs and compensation relating to the case. In the US, the car company agreed payouts to drivers of between $5,100 (£4,150) and $40,000 (£32,520) depending on makes and models. Compensation ranges in Germany and Australia were lower.
If the UK case is successful, Anexo stands to gain a percentage of payouts to drivers. Shares in the company rose 4.5p, or 3.5%, to 132p in London.
VW said: “We respect the Court’s view that the deceit claim is a complex matter which should be discussed in more detail at trial, in 2023. Volkswagen Group maintains there is no legal basis to the Claimants’ argument that customers were deceived by Volkswagen. We will robustly defend our view at trial.”
VW says the Claimants also had their application to strike out Volkswagen Group’s breach of contract defence dismissed.