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Volkswagen Group agrees £193m settlement for dieselgate claimants

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The Volkswagen Group has reached an out of court settlement with claimants in a class action lawsuit following the dieselgate emissions scandal.

A payout of £193 million has been agreed, which averages £2,120 for each of the 91,000 owners that joined the claim.

No admissions in respect of liability, causation or loss have been made by any of the defendants, however, an apology statement on the part of the VW Group has been issued.

The statement said: "The Volkswagen Group would, once again, like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to their customers for the two mode software installed in the EA189 vehicles. The Volkswagen Group will continue to work to rebuild the trust of their customers here in England & Wales. This settlement represents an important further stage in that process."

Philip Haarmann, chief legal officer of Volkswagen AG, added: "The Volkswagen Group is pleased that we have been able to conclude this long running litigation in England & Wales. The settlement is another important milestone as the Volkswagen Group continues to move beyond the deeply regrettable events leading up to September 2015."

Law firm Slater and Gordon, which represented 70,000 claimants in the case, said specifics of the settlement are confidential and individual claimants will be contacted in the coming weeks. The Volkswagen Group is not participating in the distribution or allocation of the funds.

A separate contribution is being made by the Volkswagen Group towards the claimants’ legal costs and other fees. 

The case came after Volkswagen Group was found to have installed software into certain vehicles which detected when the cars were undergoing emissions testing, and would temporarily reduce the amount of harmful exhaust gas, to meet the testing standards.  

The Volkswagen Group denies that the software it used was an illegal defeat device.

Slater and Gordon CEO David Whitmore said:  “At Slater and Gordon, we are passionate about securing the best possible outcome for our clients, and I am immensely proud of this excellent result for around 70,000 Slater and Gordon Claimants.

“Over the last five years, Slater and Gordon has rightly dedicated a significant and unwavering commitment to this case, providing an expert voice to consumers.  

“This settlement is the product of exceptional work by our dedicated specialist team. We would also like to thank litigation funder Therium, which since 2016, has provided the funding that allowed Claimants to pursue their claims through the courts.”

Class action lawsuits have been launched against Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Renault, Nissan and Vauxhall by numerous firms in the UK and Harcus Parker has started legal proceedings against all manufacturers of diesel vehicles. The cases are expected to last for around two years.

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