Test cases against Volkswagen over emission scandal to be heard in coming months

Patrick McGuire

Car manufacturer Volkswagen is being sued for £5 million by reportedly more than 1,200 car owners in Scotland over an emissions scandal, The Herald reports.

The first test cases are to be heard in the courts over the coming six months in what could be the biggest ever civil class action in Scottish legal history.

Volkswagen’s managing director in the UK, Paul Willis, has been criticised for saying there is “no legal basis” analogous to those in the US which saw the company pay out £12.3 billion to settle claims.

Patrick McGuire, of Thompsons Solicitors, which represents 800 claimants, said the firm has taken on another 100 cases following Mr Willis’ appearance before the Commons Transport Committee in which he said he did not set the cars up to cheat emissions regulations.

A further 400 drivers are being represented by other firms.

Mr McGuire said: “The attitude of Volkswagen publicly, with the boss’s performance in the committee, is reflected entirely in how they are dealing with this in the legal sphere, which is to say that their lawyers are taking a very aggressive attitude to this.

“At the moment their solicitors are not engaging in any meaningful conversation, they have put the shutters down and our only option is to pursue the course we are doing, which is to say, getting the first test cases to court.

“On the current trajectory, if all the cases were to be litigated in the Scottish courts because of the attitude of Volkswagen, then it would be by some distance the largest civil class action in the history of the Scottish court system.”

Mr McGuire added that few Volkswagen owners have been offered a technical fix for their cars.

He added: “To describe them as happy with Volkswagen’s response is a flight of fancy at best.”