A group representing 180,000 car owners in Europe is seeking a full refund of Volkswagen vehicles affected by the scandal at an estimated cost of $6.9 billion, the Financial Times has reported.
Patrick Haas of AKD, a law firm based in Rotterdam, is serving as legal counsel for the Stiching Volkswagen Car Claim Foundation, which was established in October 2015.
Despite the successful case against Volkswagen in the US, the German car maker has denied breaking any laws in Europe and has refused to offer buyers compensation.
Experts have said there is a slim chance of successful litigation after Germany’s transport ministry approved a recall last December to ensure all affected cars would meet legal requirements and emissions standards.
Haas, however, said this latest recall does not fix the emission issue, and there is “still a big gap between lab conditions and real road conditions.” The group hopes to bring the case to court this spring.
Another legal representative, Damon Parker from Harcus Sinclair in the UK, told the Financial Times that “VW is forcing everyone to launch claims in their own jurisdictions,” and the group was attempting to bypass this by creating a “pan-European alliance.”
“We do not see a legal basis for customer actions,” Volkswagen said in a statement. “All vehicles affected are and have been technically safe and roadworthy. They can be driven on roads without any limitations and can be sold without loss in residual value. The required authorisations remain valid.”