Lawyer for people affected by the Volkswagen emissions scandal says that the way in with Volkswagen are dealing with their customers is staggering

The lawyer representing over 1200 Volkswagen owners has called the latest statement from the German car makers ‘lamentable’, after VW announced that a recall of the cars will start in January 2016 with some cars requiring ‘serious interventions’ but gave no further detail.

Bozena Michalowska-Howells from the Consumer Law and Product Safety group at law firm Leigh Day, called the announcement a ‘waste of breath’ by the new Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller who gave the statement to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Ms Michalowska-Howells said: “The way in which this is being handled by Volkswagen is staggering. Rather than responding to very serious concerns from their customers, they are providing the minimal information.

“The latest lamentable statement, given today to a German newspaper, does reveal that some customers will need serious interventions to parts of their vehicle. Which cars and what interventions?

“How will anyone be able to buy or sell an affected car without knowing this essential information?”

Last month Leigh Day started the first stage of legal action against Volkswagen, sending a letter to the company demanding a full refund of the premium consumers have paid for their ‘clean’ diesel cars and compensation for other related losses.

The letter, addressed personally to the new VW boss and lawyers for the group, claimed that Volkswagen represented their clean diesel cars as compliant with EU emissions regulations, offering low fuel emissions and giving good fuel economy.

The letter sent on 29 September 2015 states: “However, if it is found that defeat devices have been used in our clients’ vehicles, this undoubtedly amounts to a misrepresentation and a breach of contract.”

The letter went on to suggest that the German car manufacturer enters into negotiations to set up a settlement scheme “...so as to ensure that vehicle owners are appropriately and speedily compensated whilst minimising legal costs.”

Bozena Michalowska-Howells concluded: “We strongly believe UK consumers will have a claim against Volkswagen for the premium they paid for a ‘clean’ diesel car as well as costs associated with the recall and increased running costs.”