Why should my business claim?

The European truck manufacturers (MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco, DAF, and Scania) have been found guilty of a serious abuse of EU competition rules – indeed, all but Scania admitted their guilt. Over a 14-year period, the manufacturers at senior manager level fixed prices, agreed the cost that truck purchasers should be charged for emissions technologies (Euro 3, 4, 5, and 6), and delayed the introduction of emissions technologies. For more details, please click here.

We believe that you paid too much for trucks you purchased or leased during the cartel and for a period afterwards and that you are entitled to be compensated for the overcharges imposed by the truck manfuacturers. The European Commission fining decision will prove the manufacturers’ liability before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

How much is my business owed?

The RHA has only limited information available about the value of the claim at the moment.  This is because the cartel operated in secret and only limited details have been published by the European Commission so far.  It is therefore difficult to predict the level of potential compensation that might be awarded.  The RHA will nevertheless be seeking to recover the difference between the price the trucks should have cost in a competitive market as compared with the cartel prices, as well as any other increases in road haulage operators’ costs – for example in relation to fuel – resulting from the cartel activities.

The RHA’s claim to the Competition Appeal Tribunal says that the overall level of compensation to be awarded is likely to exceed £1 billion.

What can my business claim for?

  • All brands of truck, including DAF, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco, MAN, Renault, Scania, and Volvo
  • Trucks purchased (either outright or on finance) between 1997 and 2011
  • Trucks leased between 1997 and 2011
  • Trucks of 6 tonnes and over
  • Brand new trucks and second-hand trucks
  • Possibly for trucks purchased or leased after 2011 – the RHA will advise further in due course

Who can join the RHA’s collective claim?

Any firm, company, or individual who since January 1997 purchased or leased a truck registered in the UK for road haulage operations (both hire and reward and own-account). If you purchased or leased trucks registered in EEA Member States other than the UK, you can join if your company belongs to a group of companies that purchased or leased trucks registered in the UK.

You do not need to be an RHA member to join the claim.

Note that the RHA cannot represent your company belongs to a group of companies that manufactures trucks or if you purchase trucks merely for re-sale or leasing to operators. You can also not join the RHA’s collective claim if you purchased or leased trucks as a consumer (e.g., for transporting horses).  For more information, please contact Backhouse Jones on 08450 30 50 30.

What are the benefits of joining the RHA’s claim?

There are real benefits in joining the RHA’s group claim, including:

  • The RHA is highly respected within industry – its significant clout and power may help to reach settlement
  • Claimants can “stand behind” the RHA which is fronting the legal case
  • The RHA is acutely aware that operators will continue to have business dealings with truck manufacturers after the claim and will conduct proceedings in a measured and constructive manner
  • Operators (many of which are SMEs) cannot afford to take action on their own
  • The RHA has secured third-party litigation funding on very competitive terms and so there is no cost to operators in signing up
  • The RHA has appointed a first-rate legal team who have worked for organisations such as FIA, FIFA, Google, GSK, Samsung, Sky, and UEFA
  • The RHA has put in place multi-million pound insurance in case the claim is lost – the insurance protects the RHA and the individual operators
  • The RHA will not profit from acting as representative, maximising compensation returned to operators

How long will the case take?

While it could take several years for the case to conclude, there will be every opportunity as the RHA presents the case to the truck manufacturers for settlement to be earlier.

EU truck manufacturers fined €3.4 billion

The fines imposed in July 2016 and on Scania in September 2017 are the highest fines by far ever imposed by the European Commission for a single violation of competition rules. The manufacturers were party to a cartel from 1997 to 2011, with senior managers involved at HQ level. The manufacturers engaged in various coordinated practices, including:

  • Aligning their gross list prices at the start of the cartel
  • Increasing gross (and sometimes net) list prices
  • Agreeing the cost that truck purchasers should be charged for emissions technologies (Euro 3, 4, 5, and 6)
  • Delaying the introduction of the emissions technologies

For more details about the cartel and the European Commission’s findings, please read this document.

No cost or risk to you even if case unsuccessful

The RHA is structuring its claim so that there should be no risk for you or other operators in joining the claim and nothing to pay even if the case is unsuccessful.

The European Commission fined the companies as follows:

  • Daimler/Mercedes – €1 billion
  • Scania – €880 million
  • DAF – €752 million
  • Volvo/Renault – €670 million
  • Iveco – €495 million
  • MAN – fine of €1.2 billion reduced to zero as immunity applicant

The European Commission decisions prove liability before UK courts. To obtain compensation, it will be necessary for the RHA to evidence that the Truck Cartel caused hauliers loss and the amount of loss.