Class action could mean refund of £60 per new car

Source: Car Dealer Magazine

Dealerships could be in line for a refund of up to £60 per new car that they bought, thanks to a class action against five major shipping companies.

It follows a multi-million-euro fine by the European Commission after MOL, ‘K’ Line, NYK, WWL/EUKOR and CSAV were found to have violated EU competition law by operating a cartel that led to UK motorists and businesses allegedly being overcharged £150m for new car deliveries.  The shipping firms were subsequently fined €395m (circa £344m).

The legal action relates to businesses and consumers who paid delivery costs when buying or leasing a new car or van between October 2006 and September 2015 from one of an extensive list of manufacturers including Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Peugeot, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Citroen and Renault.

It is being brought by ex-Which? parliamentary and legal affairs manager Mark McLaren under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 on an opt-out basis and via the Competition Appeal Tribunal.  Those affected by the cartel could receive up to £60 per car, said McLaren.  The action is being independently funded, meaning anyone eligible will receive compensation without having to pay a fee.

McLaren, who sits on the consumer panel of the Legal Services Board, said: ‘When UK consumers and businesses purchased or leased a new car, they paid more for the delivery of that car than they should have done, as a result of a long-running cartel by five of the world’s leading maritime shipping companies.  I have spent much of my career working in consumer protection and I strongly believe that compensation should be paid when consumers are harmed by such deliberate, unlawful conduct.’

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