VW case continues ‘without Hamlet’

A court in Mayo, Ireland involving a nurse and her €6,000 SEAT Leon could end up costing Volkswagen billions in the long run.

Eithne Higgins is suing the company, claiming the emissions scandal could have an impact on her car’s road tax. If she is successful, it could set a precedent for 8.5 million European motorists with VW cars fitted with the cheat device.

The case was first put before Judge Devins on 27 May and when Judge Devins said she would hear the case barrister Paul Fogarty, representing Volkswagen Group Ireland and Volkswagen AG, stormed out of court claiming the process was  ‘utterly unsatisfactory, unfair and inappropriate’.

He said the court had no jurisdiction to take the case, but Judge Devins pointed out that VW had not questioned her jurisdiction or any orders connected with the case in recent months and insisted that ‘the case would continue without Hamlet’.

Meanwhile, the claimant’s solicitor, Evan O’Dwyer, said this was another attempt by VW to obstruct the process. He claimed there had been delays in providing documentation and accused the company of ‘systematic bullying’ of himself, his claimant and the court, and said it had shown ‘abject contempt’ for the process.

VW has agreed compensation packages with US drivers but has been far more reluctant to settle in Europe. However, the EU says the company may have broken consumer rules in 20 member states and is now working with national authorities to coordinate a response.

Reuters has reported that VW denies this.