A European Commission (EC) ruling on 21 February 2018 found the five companies – MOL, ‘K’ Line, NYK, WWL/EUKOR and CSAV – had violated EU competition law, and had coordinated rates, allocated tenders, coordinated reductions of capacity in the market and exchanged commercially sensitive information to maintain or increase the price of intercontinental shipping of new vehicles. The companies were fined more than €395m (£344m) while outside the EU, regulatory fines have since exceeded $755m (£591m).
Following this, a group legal action has now been filed in the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) by class representative Mark McLaren under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to get compensation for businesses and drivers for the overcharges as the inflated delivery costs were passed on. The legal action covers many mainstream brands – examples include Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Peugeot and BMW – but the carmakers themselves are not involved.
As it’s been filed through the CAT, all affected motorists and businesses in the UK are automatically included in the claim and could see a claim value up to £60 per new car bought or leased, based on the overcharge plus compound interest, with a total value believed to be in excess of £150m.
02 March 2020