The German car manufacturer Volkswagen agreed on Wednesday May 25 to pay 193 million pounds (s226 million euros) to compensate 91,000 British motorists who considered themselves injured by the rigged engine scandal and had initiated legal proceedings.
“The Volkswagen Group and the plaintiffs have today reached an amicable settlement” of this case, announced the manufacturer in a press release, while British justice had ruled two years earlier in favor of motorists but had not yet ruled on compensation.
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This agreement “resolves the approximately 91,000 claims against various Volkswagen Group entities and dealerships in this class action lawsuit in England and Wales”.
Beyond the announced sum, distributed between the plaintiffs by their lawyers, the automobile group specifies contributing to the legal costs and other costs of the plaintiffs.
“Not an admission of responsibility”
In total, some 1.2 million Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda brand vehicles were affected in the United Kingdom by the cheating recognized by the German giant at the end of 2015 out of a total of eleven million diesel cars in the world.
The High Court in London ruled in April 2020 that Volkswagen had indeed put in place a “cheating software” breaking EU rules in cars sold in the UK in order to pass emissions tests. After the decision, Volkswagen had estimated that “the case continues”that the plaintiffs had suffered no loss and that he should not compensate them.
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Wednesday’s announcement does not represent “not an admission of liability, causation or loss” plaintiffs, Volkswagen said in its statement. But “legal costs” who awaited him in this case, with also possible appeal proceedings, “were such that settlement was the most prudent course of action”estimated the manufacturer.
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The agreement “is another important step as the Volkswagen Group continues to move forward after the deeply regrettable events” that led to this case, commented Philip Haarmann, general counsel of Volkswagen, quoted in the press release.
Dieselgate, which has led to legal action in many countries, has already cost Volkswagen more than 30 billion euros, much of it in the United States where the German group pleaded guilty to fraud in 2017.