Lawyers for 70,000 UK motorists have won the first stage of a High Court action against Volkswagen UK over the installation of emissions cheating devices in its diesel vehicles.
In December the court was asked to rule whether software installed in the cars was a “defeat device” under EU rules and in a judgement on Monday, Mr Justice Waksman ruled that it was.
Volkswagen said it was “disappointed” and may appeal the decision. A spokesperson for the German carmaker said, “To be clear, today’s decision does not determine liability or any issues of causation or loss for any of the causes of action claimed. These remain to be determined by the court as the case continues.”
The case being heard at the High Court is the latest in a global litigation facing VW which has paid out €30bn (£26bn) worldwide involving some 11 M models in the VW Group, including Audi, SEAT and Skoda.
About 90,000 motorists in England and Wales have brought action against VW as well as Audi, Seat and Skoda, which are also owned by Volkswagen Group.
The action is likely to continue for several months or longer depending on VW’s legal advice over the hearing.