Harcus Sinclair UK has joined forced with Dutch foundation Stichting Volkswagen Car Claim, AKD Benelux Lawyers, Labaton Sucharow and Breiteneder Attourneys at law to launch legal proceedings in the Netherlands against Volkswagen, software supplier Bosch and Dutch local traders on behalf of approximately 180,000 Dutch car owners affected by ‘dieselgate’. The cars include VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda vehicles with 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 EA 189 diesel engines manufactured between 2009 and 2015. In the UK, over 41,000 UK car owners have joined in the legal action launched by Harcus Sinclair in January 2016. The legal action in the Netherlands is currently the largest consumer claim in Europe as a result of the opt out system, which means that all affected car owners are automatically included as part of the claim.
Damon Parker, Harcus Sinclair UK said of the move: 'Our partnership with The Foundation underscores the cooperative approach that we are adopting with law firms and entities in different jurisdictions. Our clients’ goal is to do all that they can to support other law firms and organisations across Europe to ensure Volkswagen is held to account. It has been over eighteen months since the scandal was exposed and UK consumers have waited in vain for Volkswagen to acknowledge and respond to their complaints fairly.'
Since its establishment in 2015, the Foundation has been dealing with Volkswagen AG on behalf of aggrieved car owners, so far without any success. Its chair said that 'The Board of the Foundation now sees no other solution than to mobilise all affected car owners to force Volkswagen, Bosch and car traders to accept their responsibility and offer a reasonable compensation. The Foundation will also continue to seek collaboration with other European stakeholder groups to optimise our impact on a pan-European scale.'
The Foundation is also actively cooperating with partners who are representing interests of consumers in Austria (VKI), Germany (www.vw-verhandlung.de) and Switzerland (SKS). The foundation is in further talks with ongoing initiatives in Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Scandinavia to expand the wave of coordinated litigation all over Europe in order to ensure that no aggrieved car owner will lose its rights and will be compensated similarly.