An update on progress of the Volkswagen case in England and the implications for the Northern Ireland case:
Why is the case in England relevant?
The group action in Northern Ireland is separate from the action in England, but the issues are largely the same. In order to save costs, the parties in Northern Ireland are awaiting the outcome of the case in England. The expectation is that our own case will follow whatever decision is reached by the Court in England.
What is the latest in the English case?
Judgment was given by the Court in England on two preliminary issues in March 2020. The Court found that Volkswagen were bound by the decision of German regulators that the engines in question contained “defeat devices” and that the engines did contain such defeat devices. Volkswagen indicated that they would consider appealing the Court’s findings, but permission to appeal was refused by the Court, which found that “there are no real prospects of success” for any appeal of the preliminary decisions and no other “compelling reasons” for granting permission to appeal.
What happens next?
Although the preliminary issues have gone in favour of the Claimants, the case is not over and matters will need to go to a full hearing. The full trial is listed to take place in England not before March 2022. In the meantime, we continue to act on behalf of our clients in dealing with issues raised by the Defendant in this jurisdiction as to the entitlement of the Plaintiffs to claim.
There remains a long way to go until the claim is resolved, but in the light of progress to date in the English case, we are optimistic that the claim will be successful.