Volkswagen AG has engaged in a cynical manipulation of its customers and environmental regulators by installing devices on diesel vehicles to defeat emissions testing regimes. Over 8,000 vehicles in NZ are affected.
Volkswagen NZ has now confirmed that 5,548 New Zealand VW diesel vehicles are affected, including the Tiguan, Passat, Golf, Caddy and Amarok vehicles.
The Skoda NZ General Manager is reported as stating that the Skoda tally includes approximately 1,328 vehicles (made up of 535 Superbs, 497 Octavia models, 267 Yetis and 29 Rapids).
The Audi NZ General Manager is reported as stating that 1,600 Audi cars in NZ are affected, mostly A3 hatchback and A4 sedan/wagon models, but with a few Q3 and Q5 sports utility vehicles in the mix.
Further cars in New Zealand may be affected.
Volkswagen AG has indicated it is working on a “fix” for those cars that were fitted with the defeat device. Affected cars will need to be recalled to have the “fix” applied. However, there are concerns that the “fix” could degrade certain performance characteristics of the affected vehicles, including horsepower and fuel efficiency.
Affected car owners could be entitled to seek compensation for any increased fuel costs, depreciation of vehicle value, out of pocket expenses and costs associated with the recall and any future repairs that may be required.
We are experienced litigation lawyers with a reputation for fighting hard for our clients. We have experience in acting for large groups of claimants in their claims against the “Goliaths” of industry.
We acted for businesses affected by the grounding of the MV Rena in Tauranga in October 2011 against the insurers (The Swedish Club) and the owners (Costamare Shipping Company) of the MV Rena and obtained a positive outcome for our clients at a mediation in June 2014.
We will engage with Volkswagen NZ and other potential defendants in a positive way to achieve a settlement of valid claims. We believe it should be possible to settle claims through negotiation and/or mediation. However, we would not hesitate to file a claim on behalf of affected vehicle owners, if that were required.
If you want to be kept informed of our investigations into the potential claims arising out of Volkswagen’s actions, please email us, with the subject line VW emissions stating your name, contact details, vehicle make, model and year, or complete our contact form.
Contacting us will not create a solicitor-client relationship - you will not be obligated to join in any legal claim and we will not be obligated to pursue a claim on your behalf.
We will continue to provide regular updates on this page. Please also follow us on twitter (@gibsonsheat).
Edward Cox, Partner, Gibson Sheat; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Callum Reid, Consultant, Gibson Sheat; email@example.com
Nicole Smith, Barrister; firstname.lastname@example.org