Legal firm, Gibson Sheat, has called for local car owners caught up in the Volkswagen emissions scandal to register their interest in a group action against the company.
Edward Cox, litigation partner at Gibson Sheat, estimate that, over 8,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles have been fitted with a ‘cheat chip’ country-wide.
“Purchasers of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles in New Zealand were duped into believing they were buying cars that met European emissions standards,” he said in a recent press release.
“New Zealand vehicle owners should not be out of pocket due to the misleading and deceptive actions of others, and we believe a group action is the best way for individual vehicle owners in New Zealand to hold Volkswagen to account over its actions.”
In response to indications that Volkswagen is working on a fix for the affected vehicles, Cox says this could possibly reduce horsepower and fuel efficiency. The scandal could also result in financial losses for the car owners concerned.
“The reputation of the affected cars may now be tainted, due to no fault of the vehicle owners, and this could lead to a reduction in the value of their cars. Volkswagen has given no indication that it is considering compensating vehicle owners for the losses they may suffer.”
“Volkswagen and its local distribution chain must do the right thing by the owners of these 8,000 vehicles,” Cox added.
Barrister Nicole Smith has agreed to partner with Gibson Sheat on the Volkswagen group action. The two parties have worked together on successful group actions in the past. For example, they brought about a positive legal outcome for Tauranga business owners affected by the grounding of the MV Rena.