FAQs

1. WHO CAN JOIN THE CLAIM?

You can join the action through this website of the foundation if you bought or leased (with a leasing or renting contract) an affected car in Belgium. We also have retained counsel to defend the interests of prejudiced) from other EU countries. The foundation will provide for a specific website in these other countries.

If you reside in Belgium, please click here to quickly verify whether you are eligible to join the claim. 

In short, if you purchased or leased a 1.2, 1.6 or 2.0 litre diesel vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda or Porsche from 2009 through 2015, you are likely eligible. This, even if in the meanwhile you sold the vehicle.

If you own (or owned) a fleet of these cars for your business, you may also be eligible. Please email us at fleetowne[email protected] to learn how to join the claim.

2. WHAT WILL IT COST ME?

The legal proceedings are funded by a third party funder. You will not have to pay anything to assert your rights.

Only if we manage to get you financial compensation, you will pay a fee to the funder of up to 27.5% (VAT included, if applicable) of the financial compensation. This percentage can also be lower, depending on various circumstances.

3. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

To join this group action, you only need to agree to our terms by completing the simple sign-up process on this website. Click here to sign up. If you would like to read the Participation Agreement, you can do so here.

4. WHAT IS THE DIESEL EMISSIONS JUSTICE STICHTING?

The Diesel Emissions Justice Stichting is a non-profit foundation established under Dutch law. It is an entity which is permitted to pursue a group action against Volkswagen Skoda, Audi, Porsche and SEAT and related parties in the Netherlands and to seek a global settlement in order to obtain adequate compensation on behalf of all European consumers. It is backed by a litigation funder and by Corpocon Legal BV, which has been actively involved in the Diesel scandal for years and is supported by thousands of participants in the Netherlands. The purpose of the foundation is to create an international base for litigation in various jurisdictions in order to maximize pressure with the final goal to obtain compensation for you. This sets the foundation apart from other initiatives. One of the reasons for the Dutch origin of the foundation is that the law system of the Netherlands is far more advanced than the legislation in Belgium when it comes to collective consumer redress, as appeared in the Fortis case which finally came to a successful conclusion with a settlement in the Netherlands. Furthermore, a Dutch foundation can also represent Belgian prejudiced before Belgian courts, which it intends to do.

5. WHAT SETS THE FOUNDATION APART FROM OTHER INITIATIVES?

There are also other organizations who are trying to get compensation from Volkswagen. Some have been active for years but have not managed to reach significant results yet. In the meantime, Volkswagen continues to evade its responsibility and refuses to make any offer in Europe while agreeing on settlements both in the United States and in Australia. The foundation believes that only a coordinated action in multiple countries will put enough pressure on Volkswagen to be effective. Belgium is an important country because nearly 400.000 impacted cars were sold here. This international approach sets the foundation apart from other initiatives. Given that this is much more costly than the approach taken by other initiatives, the success fee for the funder can be slightly higher. 

In Belgium the consumer organisation Test Aankoop – Test Achats also started a group action based on a specific Belgian “class action” law, but this action only includes a minority of the cars involved. That group action only involves cars that were sold after 1 September 2014 to consumers, and it excludes all other cars sold before that date as well as all cars bought by professionals for professional use of even for mixed use.

6. DOES IT MATTER IF I AM ALREADY PARTICIPATING WITH ANOTHER ORGANISATION?

You can still join our action. However, we do not recommend participating in more than one organization at the same time so in that case, we recommend terminating your registration with your previous organization.

7. CAN I JOIN THE CLAIM IF I AM ALREADY A PARTY IN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST VOLKSWAGEN?

You can also join us if you are already a party in legal proceedings against Volkswagen. In that case, you may still benefit from a collective settlement and the pressure we are creating to achieve this.  

However, we do not recommend participating in more than one organization at the same time.  If you already participate with another organization, we recommend terminating your registration with your previous organization.

8. CAN I JOIN THE CLAIM IF I NO LONGER OWN OR LEASE MY CAR?

Yes, you may be eligible for compensation also if you no longer own or lease your vehicle, or if you bought it second hand before January 2016.

For more information, see the tab “Join the Claim” under “Who can join”.

9. WHAT DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION DO I NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CLAIM?

In order to represent you in court we will need the VIN number (Vehicle Identification Number) of your car. Your VIN number can be found on your vehicle itself and on registration and sales documents.

You will be asked to upload a scanned copy of the matriculation certificate of the vehicle, or another a document proving the purchase or the renting of the vehicle, showing the VIN number and a copy of your ID.

10. WHO WILL THE FOUNDATION START LITIGATION AGAINST?

The foundation is bringing claims against the following companies from the Volkswagen Group:

  • Volkswagen AG (incorporated in Germany)
  • Audi AG (incorporated in Germany)
  • Skoda Auto AS (incorporated in Czech Republic)
  • SEAT SA (incorporated in Spain)
  • Porsche (incorporated in Germany)

In addition, the Foundation may target other companies such as the Belgian importer, D’Ieteren NV/SA and the software provider of Volkswagen, Robert Bosch GmbH.

11. HOW MUCH COMPENSATION CAN I GET?

This action is about compensation for you, and to hold VW accountable for their unfair practices and the resulting damage to public health and the environment. We will fight vigorously to obtain the maximum recovery for you without any costs and risk for the participants. While US claimants received an average of $8,000 before costs, damages in Europe may be more modest due to a number of factors including: the relative ease of bringing group claims in the US, stricter regulatory enforcement mechanisms and intense political and governmental pressure applied on VW in the US. Ultimately, the amount of compensation you may receive will either be negotiated through a settlement or determined by the Court.

12. DO I HAVE A COOLING-OFF PERIOD AND CAN I WITHDRAW MY REGISTRATION WITH THE FOUNDATION?

Yes, following subscription to the foundation, it is possible to cancel your participation agreement during a “cooling-off” period of 14 days by sending an email to [email protected]  Even after this period you can cancel your participation, with 30 days’ notice, again by sending an email to [email protected]. In the latter case the costs and success fee will still be deducted from your compensation if at the time of the cancellation the foundation reached a settlement agreement with Volkswagen or obtained a positive court decision. In such cases indeed, the foundation will have substantially helped you.

13. WILL REGISTRATION WITH THE FOUNDATION INTERRUPT THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR PERSONS WHO BOUGHT OR LEASED THEIR VEHICLE OUTSIDE BELGIUM?

No. The statutes of limitations differ in various countries in Europe, and a registration with the foundation will not interrupt the statute of limitation for car owners who purchased or leased their vehicle outside Belgium. If you bought or leased your car elsewhere, you should take action to prevent your claim from being time barred. If you wish to have more information on how to safeguard your rights, please contact us at [email protected].

On the contrary the signing of the participation agreement in which you give a mandate to the foundation will result in an interruption of the statutes of limitation given that this happens before 15 July 2020.

One of the statutes of limitation in Belgium might be 1 September 2020 so don’t lose time and sign the participation agreement soon.

14. WILL THE FOUNDATION LITIGATE LAWSUITS FOR NON-BELGIAN CAR OWNERS?

What sets the foundation apart from other initiatives is that it is prepared to litigate lawsuits for both Belgian and non-Belgian car owners in various jurisdictions throughout Europe, in order to increase the pressure on Volkswagen to offer adequate compensation. The foundation will first file a lawsuit in the Netherlands. This will probably be limited to representation of car owners and users who bought or leased their car in the Netherlands. In addition, the foundation will create a basis for litigation of claims of non-Dutch car owners in other EU countries such as Belgium.

15. HOW LONG WILL LITIGATION TAKE?

While it is difficult to predict how long it will last, it is anticipated this lawsuit will take at least 18-24 months to get to trial after the initial collective lawsuit is filed in the Netherlands.  In Belgium the same timing is applicable. Frequent updates will be provided in this website. Should we succeed in bringing Volkswagen to the negotiation table, additional time may be required in order to obtain court approval for a settlement. In case additional litigation is required in the Netherlands and other European jurisdictions, it may take several years before results may be reached. 

16. HASN’T VW ALREADY SETTLED WITH AFFECTED CUSTOMERS IN THE UNITED STATES?

Yes, VW settled numerous class actions in the United States and Australia totaling over $25 billion US dollars.

Apart from that Volkswagen already has been condemned in Brazil before the Court of appeal and in the Czech Republic before the Court of First Instance.

17. DOES THE FOUNDATION HAVE A PRIVACY POLICY?

Yes. You can find it by clicking on this link.

18. HOW CAN I GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU?

If you send an email with any questions to [email protected], we will get in touch as soon as possible. 

If you own (or owned) a fleet of these cars for your business, please email us at [email protected] to learn how to join the claim.

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