Kiwis caught in Volkswagen emissions scandal asked to join group legal action
Law firm Gibson Sheat says Volkswagen and its New Zealand distribution chain must do the right thing by the owners of 8,000 affected vehicles
Kiwi car owners caught up in the Volkswagen emissions scandal have been asked to register their interest in a group action being initiated by law firm Gibson Sheat.
Gibson Sheat litigation partner Edward Cox estimates more than 8,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles in New Zealand have been fitted with the so-called emissions ‘cheat chip’.
“Purchasers of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles in New Zealand were duped into believing they were buying cars that met European emissions standards. 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,” says Mr Cox.
Although Volkswagen has indicated it is working on a ‘fix’ for the affected cars to remove the emissions cheating software, says Mr Cox, there are concerns the ‘fix’ could reduce horsepower and fuel efficiency.
“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,” Mr Cox says.
Barrister Nicole Smith is working with Gibson Sheat on the Volkswagen group action. Gibson Sheat and Ms Smith have together achieved previous success with group actions, having achieved a positive outcome for Tauranga business owners affected by the grounding of the MV Rena.
Kiwi owners of affected Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles are being asked to visit the Gibson Sheat website to register their details for the group action:www.gibsonsheat.com/news-and-publications/latest-news/volkswagen-emissions-claims