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Old 9th January 2017
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Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

So, thousands of Volkswagen owners in the UK are to seek compensation from the carmaker following the emissions rigging scandal.

BBC Report

Lawyers have said that 10,000 owners have already expressed an interest in suing VW, and estimate that owners could get "several thousand pounds each" in compensation.

If they are successful, does this mean we can sue VW owners (or even other VW owners) for polluting the air that we breathe? (After all, VW and Audi drivers always have to be in front).

Where does it all end?

Can we now expect thousands of cold calls from companies asking whether we have claimed compensation for the VW that we once drove?
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Old 9th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

I went a while hoping to be stopped by the police...

"do you know how fast you were going, sir?"
"well the car told me I was legal, but these VWs do lie...."

Actually rather glad I didn't put it to the test!

I think the owners are in a comfortable position, residual values seem to have held up, so while I wouldn't say no to a nice compensation payout, I'm not joining the let's sue them brigade!

The software update on mine appears to have improved the consumption, so presumably cut the pollution...

Who knows?
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Old 9th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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Originally Posted by Walti View Post
"do you know how fast you were going, sir?"
"well the car told me I was legal, but these VWs do lie...."

Actually rather glad I didn't put it to the test!
I somehow doubt that would work, unless you were an off duty Chief Constable or had a funny handshake.

I fully accept that VW Audi Group should be punished for tinkering with the emissions system, but I don't see how VW drivers are the victims here.
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Old 9th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I somehow doubt that would work, unless you were an off duty Chief Constable or had a funny handshake.

I fully accept that VW Audi Group should be punished for tinkering with the emissions system, but I don't see how VW drivers are the victims here.
As a Passat owner I see myself as a potential victim only if any of the following apply:-

1) Annual road tax becomes more expensive due to the poorer emission data.

2) I am forced to scrap my car due to the poor emissions.

3) The second hand value of my car reduces (hardly an issue as my car is over 10 years old).

I'm inclined to think that any compensation from VW should go to the Treasury and be specifically earmarked for research or implementation of future pollution reduction, as it is something that affects us all.
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Old 9th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
As a Passat owner I see myself as a potential victim only if any of the following apply:-

1) Annual road tax becomes more expensive due to the poorer emission data.

2) I am forced to scrap my car due to the poor emissions.

3) The second hand value of my car reduces (hardly an issue as my car is over 10 years old).

I'm inclined to think that any compensation from VW should go to the Treasury and be specifically earmarked for research or implementation of future pollution reduction, as it is something that affects us all.
Mine is one of the "suspect software" cars and the revised software has apparently brought the car into line with the published data at all times, so VW are saying there can't be a retrospective change in vehicle excise duty.

The car may well need to be scrapped due to poor emissions, as with all cars, the emissions legislation is changing and UK could follow suit of some countries on insisting a minimum standard for older cars too, e.g. Switzerland insist cars are scrapped when they get to a certain age/emission standard.... BUT the UK doesn't do that and it's not a specific to VW group.

At present and rather surprisingly second hand values seem to have held up so far, I was expecting a hit on this come PX time...
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Old 9th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

As someone who brought a VW based upon its low emissions statements made at the time in 2010 I am most upset at the response of VW. I brought the blue motion Tiguan version and following the software update my fuel consumption is worst by about 5 -10mpg. That is consistent with what VW tells me they have done to my car to lower the NOx levels which is to have changed the fuel injection pattern by injecting more fuel than it did before.

In the states the motor industry has limits on emission to do with CO2 and NOx. Thats why they had to pay compensation because they broke the law. In europe (and because the UK are currently in the EU) they only have limits on CO2. I do not know if VW did break the law in the UK and suspect that they may well have done because why else would they modify the engine mapping to lower NOx levels. Yes VW cheated its customers but the much bigger question is the limits on emission by all cars, particularly on NOx. I think VW have some of the better efficiency engines so why should VW owners be punished again.
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Old 9th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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Originally Posted by Walti View Post
The car may well need to be scrapped due to poor emissions, as with all cars, the emissions legislation is changing and UK could follow suit of some countries on insisting a minimum standard for older cars too, e.g. Switzerland insist cars are scrapped when they get to a certain age/emission standard....
Ships and diesel powered trains are routinely re-engined with new propulsion systems throughout their lives to gain from newer engine technologies, cleaner running, lower bunkering costs and so forth. I gather similar programmes are available for aircraft.

In my view it is about time this became a realistic proposition for cars.
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Old 10th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
Ships and diesel powered trains are routinely re-engined with new propulsion systems throughout their lives to gain from newer engine technologies, cleaner running, lower bunkering costs and so forth. I gather similar programmes are available for aircraft.

In my view it is about time this became a realistic proposition for cars.
Ships and planes are, typically, with one owner for decades.

Harold
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Old 10th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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Ships and planes are, typically, with one owner for decades.

Harold
That is not entirely true.

It is true that the big, well known cruise liners tend to stay with one owner throughout their working lives, but other 'working' ships change hands on a fairly regular basis. It is also common practice for cruise ships to be lengthened by 40 metres or so mid-life to accommodate increasing numbers of passengers.

Likewise trains and aeroplanes change hands (often leasing companies), and operators throughout their lives. BA, somewhat unusually, tends to operate the same aeroplanes for decades, but they do have quite an old fleet.

Newer operators such as EasyJet and Ryanair don't want the maintenance overheads of an older fleet, so they tend to buy new aircraft, work them hard for a few years and then sell them on.
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
I'm inclined to think that any compensation from VW should go to the Treasury and be specifically earmarked for research or implementation of future pollution reduction, as it is something that affects us all.
Exactly! Cars are recalled for all manner of problems nowadays, some major, some minor. To me this isn't a biggie for individual owners as their only inconvenience was having to take the vehicle to a dealer for modification. The work was probably performed at the same time as a service anyway.

I certainly don't see VW/Audi/Seat owners as the victims here. They didn't have to drive their cars, but we had to inhale their pollutants whether we liked it or not!

Certain Vauxhall Zafira models have been recalled more than once owing to fires in their cabin heating systems. More recently certain models of Corsa were found to have a similar problem.

Toyota had an even bigger problem involving the accelerator control system, which cost the lives of several people; yet I haven't heard any calls for mass compensation for Vauxhall or Toyota owners.

Some VW/Audi/Seat owners say they are claiming compensation because they bought their cars specifically for their low emissions, above and beyond anything else. What utter bullshit!

If VW/Audi/Seat owners were seriously bothered about emissions and carbon footprint, etc. they would have bought a British built car to avoid the emissions involved in transporting their new vehicle half way around Europe.

There is a strong whiff of bovine poo around some of these claims, but an even stronger smell of 'get rich quick' Lawyers, who I understand are in line to collect 30% of any compensation payout!
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

IS NOT the real scandal that Diesel Fuel was promoted above Petrol? Higher Mileage & Cheaper
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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IS NOT the real scandal that Diesel Fuel was promoted above Petrol? Higher Mileage & Cheaper
Diesel was promoted because per unit of energy provided CO2 emissions are lower, and CO2/global warming is, or was seen as public enemy No 1.

The real scandal, for me, is that once again the baby has been thrown out with the environmental bathwater in an effort to reduce one pollutant whilst simultaneously increasing others.

Worse still, the legislation that made catalytic converters mandatory in the early 1990's very significantly increased CO2 emissions AND fuel consumption.

It was widely believed (and misreported) that catalytic converters were needed for tetraethyl lead to be removed from petrol, but that was incorrect. Suitable petrol engines will run perfectly well on lead free fuel without the need for catalytic converters.

The next scandal will be "pollution free" electric cars, which actually produce around double the CO2 emissions of diesel and petrol vehicles.

However, even if diesel powered cars were eradicated from our roads tomorrow there are millions of lorries, buses, trains and ships running on diesel, which it would be impractical, and probably unsafe to convert to petrol or LPG.

I certainly wouldn't want to go to sea on a petrol powered ship!
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

I quite agree Nigel - the cat was designed to deal with California smog and works well when good and hot and most short UK drives just don't get them properly up to speed

it would be fun to do a calculation between my 3 year old Diesel Suzuki with all current bells and whistles and my 29 year old Land rover as to which is overall most energy efficient overall - after all the investment to create the steel of the chassis of the Land rover has been spread across a lot of years

I'm not allowed to drive either of them in the new proposed ULEZ and it would cost me 100 to take the Land Rover into the London LEZ at all - not that I would want to at all - I've been to London this decade and that was enough

Anyway back to VW owners. I feed sad if people have lost from their pre-adjustment value, but agree that overall encouraging the compensation culture is not good

regards
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Old 10th January 2017
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

I'm a bit miffed that I have been hammered with 500 car tax for years on my 26mpg but low Nox petrol Subaru while my mates laughed at me because their efficient clean diesels are quoted at 70 mpg and are awarded low car tax.

Now it seems diesels were not that good after all - but the government won't be asking for retrospective car tax from them.

Harrumph, for no particulate reason.

:-)
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Re: Can We Sue Volkswagen Owners for Polluting Our Air?

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I'm a bit miffed that I have been hammered with 500 car tax for years on my 26mpg but low Nox petrol Subaru while my mates laughed at me because their efficient clean diesels are quoted at 70 mpg and are awarded low car tax.

Now it seems diesels were not that good after all - but the government won't be asking for retrospective car tax from them.

Harrumph, for no particulate reason.

:-)
I feel your pain.

I had a similar dilemma when I bought a new car last year. By choice I would have gone for the V8 supercharged petrol model, but the annual road tax would have been ridiculous; even though the MPG was actually quite good, (and probably better than a Prius at 69 MPH on the motorway).

The dealer offered me the same car with a 3.0 litre V6 petrol engine, delivery mileage only at a very attractive price, and with a gorgeous engine note; but again the road tax was ridiculous, (about 550 a year if I recall).

In the end I took the 'sensible' option of buying the diesel model, which thanks to its low emissions has road tax of only 160 a year; but I now wonder how long for?

However, there is no tax concession for the fact that the vehicle was built in Britain, by British workers, and didn't have to be transported half way across Europe with associated emissions. Maybe that too will change under the new order?
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