The NOx emissions scandal, often referred to as "Dieselgate" is the subject a major and unprecedent piece of litigation in the High Court. Customers allege that there existed prohibited defeat devices in vehicles manufactured by no less than 13 manufacturers. These defeat devices, it is said, were fitted to the vehicles to manipulate tests for nitrogen oxides. The 'scandal' being that this was common practice and in doing so, the manufacturers have breached contracts, statutory duty and various guarantees. Lenders and Dealers have not escaped these claims and are joined as co-defendants.
The action stems from the infamous VW scandal, in which VW paid £193m in a High Court settlement in 2022. VW had already paid around £26bn worldwide. The Masters in the High Court have now taken the unprecedent approach of joining all Group actions into one, dubbed as the Pan-Nox Emissions Litigation ("the Pan-NOx")
The customers and those representing them will be hoping for a similar result as the VW scandal but the manufacturers, Lenders and Dealers are vigourously defending, setting themselves apart from what happened with VW. The Pan-Nox is at a very early stage with all parties heavily engaged in case management. The first Trial is expected in 2025, but is likely to have serious ramifications for the motor finance industry at a time when it is already facing an unprecedented level of regulatory scrutiny and claims management litigation.