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[英伦广角] 2015-10-04 英国车主准备起诉大众汽车 提出索赔

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Philipp Geoghegan chose his Volkswagen Golf with care. He drove thousands of miles last year, and making sure his car was eco-friendly was vital. Now he is waiting to find out if that wasn’t in fact the case. And he’s considering taking legal action.

“To feel that the product was potentially misrepresented to me at the point of sale, and I feel is a real breach of my trust and potentially the brand Volkswagen taking advantage of me as a consumer.”

Just how many cars may be affected in the UK is not yet known. Despite that, lawyers have been inundated with inquiries.

"We are yet to find out the scale of it but potentially it’s enormous because it will be surprising if Volkswagen are the only people who've been doing it. It may not be the same artificial testing devices, the defeat devices that have been used, but the issue of the European standard and the way that has been presented to buyers of cars, I think that will be very common.”

VW has admitted 11 million vehicles worldwide were fitted with software to trick testers into thinking they were cleaner than they actually were.

“It’s unlikely to just be VW owners who take legal action. It’s thought some car dealers will too as well as shareholders who have seen the value of their investments plummeted in the past week. There could even be claims from asthma sufferers and the environmental groups due to the extra emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere.”

It all makes the 4.7 billion pounds put aside by VW to deal with the crisis seem a little inadequate. But Karl Thacker knows just what pressure and costs involved in taking Volkswagen to court. His case was eventually settled, and the manufacturer agreed to repair bodywork on his Passat. But he did advise those caught up in the current scandal to join forces.

"I think if the stress is shared within a group of people, it's a lot easier, and you can speak to somebody about it. When you are taking someone to court on your own, it's just your word against that organization, and it is very stressful and there are a lot of sleepless nights.”

For Philipp the priority is to find out if his car is affected. Now he plans to have it tested independently so he knows for sure. If it is, next stop could be the courts.

Emma Birchley, Sky News.
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