The fitting of defeat devices to VW cars can be considered one of the biggest scandals to hit the world motoring industry, and its effects are likely to be felt for many years to come. While the full extent of the behaviour by senior figures at the car manufacturing company has yet to be unearthed, and the exact effect it will have on the VW company itself has not yet been realised, there are already many questions being asked regarding compensation and legalities.
Drivers are concerned that they are driving cars that are not legally allowed on the roads, while legal experts have said that owners of cars with the devices fitted could be entitled to compensation. Some experts have even said that the company could be forced to buy back every car with the device fitted, and it seems almost certain that a major recall will see millions of diesel cars around the world being called back to VW garages for the removal of the devices.
Exactly what will happen to owners that may have underpaid road tax as a result of the devices has yet to be announced, but senior figures from VW have been forced to answer questions in Parliament, and many believe that the answers given suggest that the company do not expect to have to pay any kind of compensation to individual drivers. One lawyer has expressed her disdain at the suggestion, and has said that every VW driver that owns an effected car could be owed as much as £2,000 in compensation once the dust settles.
The US has seemingly taken the hardest stance so far, with lawyers there claiming that it is virtually inevitable that compensation will be owed to individuals, and they have even suggested that the company could be forced to buy back every single car fitted with the devices. Meanwhile, lawyer Bozena Michalowska of Leigh Day has said that the company executives gave a “completely inadequate response” and that it wasn’t “good enough” before suggesting that £2,000 compensation may be enough to cover the cost of refitting, the increased cost of fuel consumption following the refit, and the effect on the residual resale value of the vehicle.