Volkswagen set to pay British drivers £2,000 over ‘dieselgate’ scandal

Over 90,000 drivers across England and Wales will receive more than £2,100 each after legal action against the carmaker

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Volkswagen is to pay thousands of British drivers a total of £193million after it settled a High Court claim over the "dieselgate" scandal.

Lawyers argued that Volkswagen “cheated” European emissions standards, which were designed “to save lives”, by installing illegal “defeat devices” in its diesel vehicles.

The "dieselgate" scandal arose in 2015, when the Volkswagen Group announced that 11 million vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK, were affected, prompting a storm of litigation worldwide.

Cars made by the Volkswagen group, including its VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands, produced more nitrogen dioxide than the company stated.

Nitrogen dioxide is a toxic pollutant, which has been linked to chronic lung disease and premature death.

The claim was due to go to trial in January 2023, but in a statement on Wednesday, the car manufacturing group and lawyers announced that a multimillion pound out-of-court settlement had been achieved.

The 91,000 motorists who proceeded with legal action against the Volkswagen Group claimed that they had been misled by the company in reference to the sustainability ratings of their vehicles.

Accompanying the nine-figure pay out, the Volkswagen Group will make a separate contribution towards the claimants’ legal costs and other fees.

Volkswagen refrained from admitting liability, causation or loss.

The car manufacturer delivered an apology to consumers, adding they will “continue to work to rebuild the trust of their customers here in England and Wales”.

Philip Haarmann, Volkswagen Group’s chief legal officer, said: “The Volkswagen Group is pleased that we have been able to conclude this long running litigation in England and Wales.

“The settlement is another important milestone as the Volkswagen Group continues to move beyond the deeply regrettable events leading up to September 2015.”

Lawyers representing the affected drivers said they were “delighted” with the settlement.