Did your business buy a medium or heavy goods vehicle (from six tonnes upwards) between 1997 and 2011? If so, you may be able to claim compensation.
In July 2016 the European Commission found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF had broken EU Anti-Trust Rules and imposed a fine of approximately €2.93 billion. This was for colluding for a period of 14 years on truck pricing and passing on of costs of stricter emission rules.
The companies accepted that they had carried out the following:
- agreed at senior management level to fix prices and aligned prices across Europe
- stalled the introduction of Euro engine technology
- agreed and passed on the cost of Euro technology to operators.
This means that when the manufacturers were supposedly in competition with each other in an open market the price of trucks was in fact higher than would have been the case as they were colluding on price and low emissions technology.
It also means that a claim can be brought to compensate for over payment made.
One route to claiming compensation in the UK is before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). This will be open to anyone who in the 1997 to 2011 window bought or leased a truck.
The amount of damages (compensation) remains to be seen. It is sufficiently significant to make such a claim worthwhile – the excess pricing is estimated at between 10% and 25%. In order to bring a claim for compensation claimants will need to provide clear evidence of purchasing or leasing vehicles. Calculation of the level of overpricing will be complex involving experts and having regard to numerous factors.
Bringing your case and funding
If you would like to pursue a claim for compensation then Ashtons Legal can assist you with this. The objective is to fund the cases on a no-win no-fee basis, meaning there will be no need to provide funds as the case progresses.
If you would like to register your interest with us then please contact us as soon as possible. It will be necessary to lodge any claims relatively soon. The processing of the claims may take some time but will be worthwhile, not least if you have acquired a significant number of trucks during the 1997 to 2011 window.
Please contact Tim Ridyard or Tim Norris in our Road Transport team for advice.