Frequently Asked Questions
Who is UK Trucks Claim Ltd?
Why has UKTC been formed?
Why should UKTC bring my claim?
What is UKTC asking for?
What is the process?
The case is currently awaiting a hearing before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, who will determine if there is sufficient reason to grant a CPO and to which party or parties. We believe that the independence of UKTC and the strength of the Board make us best placed to represent the interests of all those financially disadvantaged by the actions of the cartelist.
Once a CPO is granted UKTC can pursue a claim on behalf of all class members against the cartelists for compensation for the loss suffered as a result of the cartel. If successful, the Tribunal will make an “aggregate damages” award which will be distributed amongst all class members in a manner approved by the Tribunal.
What has happened so far?
In May 2018 UKTC made an application to the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London to be appointed the Class Representative on behalf of any person or business that purchased or leased new medium or heavy trucks (generally those greater than 6 tonnes GVW) registered in the UK between January 1997 and January 2011 in order to pursue a claim for compensation against the cartelists.
Matters are proceeding but there have been several delays caused in part by other cases that may have an influence on the Tribunal’s decision. It is currently expected that the hearing to decide whether UKTC is appointed as the Class Representative will take place in April 2021.
Why do UKTC prefer an Opt-Out option?
UKTC is seeking to bring an “opt-out” claim, which means that claimants will not need to opt in to be part of the class action. This means that the remedy awarded will be available to all class members (although it is open to claimants to “opt out” of the claim). The other form of class action is an “opt-in” claim, which requires claimants to opt into the action in order to be entitled to any remedy.
Under an opt-out case, the legal costs and funding costs would not be deducted from the award of damages, enabling each victim to take its full share of the award of damages, without any deductions.
UKTC believes that the “opt-out” is the most effective way to ensure that all those adversely affected will be fairly compensated (and in particular for small operators who may not be willing or able to make their own claim or to opt-in to a collective claim). However, UKTC will seek an “opt-in claim” in the alternative.
What is a Collective Action?
A collective action, also known as a class action lawsuit, class suit, or representative action, is a type of legal claim where a group of people (or “class members”) are represented collectively by a class representative. The class action originated in the United States and is still predominantly a U.S. phenomenon, although it is also a feature of litigation in other jurisdictions such as Canada and Australia. The UK has made changes in recent years to allow class representatives to bring claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal on behalf of businesses and consumers harmed by anti-competitive conduct.
UKTC is seeking an order from the Tribunal to allow UKTC to represent everyone falling within the proposed class of persons disadvantaged by the actions of the cartelists.
What is a Cartel?
Which manufacturers were involved in the Truck cartel?
Five European truck manufacturers have admitted that they participated in an unlawful cartel and were therefore guilty of a serious violation of EU competition rules. They were fined almost €4 billion by the European Commission as a result of their unlawful activity.
MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco, DAF admitted their unlawful behaviour, and Scania has now also been found guilty of a serious abuse of EU competition rules. Over a 14-year period, they fixed prices, agreed the costs that truck purchasers should be charged for emissions technologies (Euro 3, 4, 5, and 6), and delayed the introduction of emissions technologies.
As a result of the cartel, we believe that UK truck owners and operators paid significantly more for the trucks that they purchased or leased during the cartel period (1997 – 2011) and for a period afterwards.
Does UKTC’s class include trucks made by a manufacturer who was not found to have been involved in the cartel?
Although only six manufacturers have been found to have participated in the cartel (with MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco, DAF having admitted to their involvement, and with Scania also being found to have taken part), UKTC’s class also includes anyone who purchased or leased trucks made by other manufacturers.
This is because we believe that the cartel affected the prices charged for trucks across the market (and not just the trucks manufactured by the cartelists), and that the cartelists should therefore also be held liable for these wider effects of their cartel.
Why might I have a claim?
We believe that, if you registered a truck in the UK between 1997 and 2011, you are likely to have paid too much for the truck and that you are therefore entitled to compensation as a result.
In simple terms, your business is entitled to claim for the difference between what you paid for your trucks and what you would have paid if the cartel had not existed. UKTC is seeking compensation of up to £20,000 per truck for everyone who acquired one or more of the 648,000 or so medium and heavy trucks registered in the UK in the period 1997 to 2011.
Since the truck manufacturers also jointly delayed the introduction of more fuel-efficient emissions technologies, UKTC is seeking to ensure that truck owners are compensated for any increased fuel costs that they paid as a result.
If you or your business is already making a claim against any of the truck manufacturers for compensation as a result of the Cartel, you will not be able to also form part of UKTC’s class action. You cannot claim in both cases.
Which trucks are in scope?
The claim is not limited to trucks manufactured by the cartelists, but also extends to all new medium and heavy trucks. This is because we believe that the cartel affected the prices charged for medium and heavy trucks across the market and not just the trucks manufactured by the cartelists, and that the cartelists should therefore also be held liable for these wider effects of their cartel.
Are second-hand trucks included?
How much of the compensation owed to my business will actually be paid to me?
Our current plan is to pay out based on your expenditure on new trucks in each year of the cartel. The actual amount of compensation per truck will be determined at a future date at which time class members will be paid out in full.
What do I need to be part of the claim?
What if my business does not have any records dating back to 1997?
Please contact us to discuss this at email@example.com. UKTC may also be able to obtain relevant data from other sources and the manufacturers and finance companies who should have records of your purchase or lease.
Did the trucks have to be purchased direct from one of the truck manufacturers?
What if my business no longer owns the trucks?
What period does the claim apply to?
How much compensation will my business receive?
What happens if my business has been dissolved or is in insolvency?
Do I need to sign up?
In the event that the Tribunal awards the UKTC an “opt-in” CPO, UKTC will mount a major campaign to invite eligible truck owners to opt into the claim.
Is there a cost to individuals and companies to make a claim?
If successful, UKTC will ask the Tribunal to order the cartelists to reimburse Weightmans’ fees, the funder’s fees and the disbursements paid by the funder. Any expenses and costs which cannot be recovered from the cartelists will be met by the Weightmans and/or the funder.