In July last year the European Commission fined MAN, Volvo Group (which includes Volvo Trucks and Renault Truck) Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, Iveco and DAF £2.6 billion for price fixing and other cartel activities between 1997 and 2011. The compensation claim will be brought before the Competition Appeals Tribunal. If successful, haulage and logistics companies will get money back for vehicles sold or leased to them at inflated prices because of the cartel, if they sign up to the claim.
RHA says that this is the first fully-funded group claim against the truck manufacturers on behalf of affected hauliers. All UK truck owners can join the group legal action at www.truckcartellegalaction.com. There will be no cost for hauliers to be part of the group claim.
Early indications are that compensation could be in the region of £6,000 per truck on average. Companies that have purchased or leased new or second-hand trucks direct from manufacturers (including Scania) or dealers from 1997 onwards are eligible to join the claim. During the period the cartel operated RHA believes around 650,000 new trucks were sold. Although this legal action is being spearheaded by the RHA, non-RHA members are able to join.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “UK truck owners affected by the truck cartel have potentially paid too much for their lorries over a 14 year period and we’re determined to get a fair deal for them. This is a chance to get their compensation with no risk to their business or finances.”
Backhouse Jones, solicitors, and barristers from Exchange Chambers and Brick Court will lead the claim. The group legal action is being funded by litigation funder Therium Capital Management Limited, who will cover the costs, including significant insurance cover. The RHA has therefore carefully organised the claim so as to avoid any cost or risk to hauliers joining the legal action.
On behalf of the legal team, David Went of Exchange Chambers said: “We are taking this case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal as it is the specialist court in the UK that deals with these types of claims and is an effective way to see redress for operators. The initial stage involves asking the Tribunal to authorise the RHA to act as industry representative and to set out the basis on which operators can opt into the claim. The first hearing is expected to be later this year.”