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High Court hearing to coordinate over a million drivers' claims in diesel emissions scandal

On 8 December, the High Court will hold a significant hearing to bring together the legal claims of more than a million UK vehicle owners against 13 major car manufacturers involved in the diesel emissions scandal.

This development marks a crucial step in addressing alleged attempts by car manufacturers to deceive emission tests through the use of prohibited 'defeat devices' in their vehicles.

This hearing aims to simplify the management of the claims, reduce costs and delays, ensure efficient use of the court's resources, and bring about a fair and efficient resolution of the issues raised. The court recognises potential overlaps in legal, factual, and technical matters among the claims against different manufacturers.

The one-day hearing will be presided over by the President of the Kings Bench Division, Dame Victoria Sharp, along with High Court judges Mrs Justice Cockerill and Mr Justice Constable, and Senior Master Cook.

The emissions claims, known as the NOx Group Litigation, have been filed against the following 13 vehicle manufacturing groups: Mercedes, Vauxhall/Opel, Nissan/Renault, Volkswagen/Porsche, Peugeot/Citroën, Jaguar/Land Rover, Ford, BMW, FCA/Suzuki, Volvo, Hyundai-Kia, Toyota, and Mazda.

The law firms involved in the hearing include Leigh Day, which is bringing proceedings against 9 of the manufacturers; Pogust Goodhead, which is bringing claims against all 13 manufacturer groups; Milberg LLP, and Hausfield & Co LLP. Together, these firms will jointly represent over one million individuals who have purchased or leased a diesel vehicle under the assumption of its environmental friendliness.

Martyn Day, senior partner at Leigh Day, said: “This unprecedented High Court hearing illustrates the significance and scale of the vehicle emissions claims; the largest consumer group actions ever brought before the English courts. Together, the law firms bringing the claims represent more than a million people who purchased or leased a diesel vehicle believing it was more environmentally friendly than it really was. Leigh Day is committed to working collaboratively to bring the claims to a conclusion as quickly and efficiently as possible so that manufacturers are held to account and owners get the compensation they deserve.”

Pete Gallagher, of Pogust Goodhead, said: “We represent hundreds of thousands of motorists in claims against all 13 manufacturer groups currently being litigated against in court. It has been eight years since the emissions scandal first broke and it is high time the manufacturers were held to account for their wrong doing. The vast scale of the cases speaks to the extent of the manufacturers’ misconduct and the very real grievance felt by car owners at being misled as to the true environmental impact of the cars they acquired. We urge the car manufacturers to do the right thing and reach swift settlements so that justice can be served without the need for the Court and the parties to use up huge resources in bringing the cases to a conclusion. We are committed to working with all parties to ensure prompt and fair access to justice and compensation for our clients in these claims.”


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