The RHA is to claim compensation for UK hauliers after the European Union fined commercial vehicle manufacturers nearly €3 billion for price fixing in July.
The association will bring collective proceedings to the Competition Appeal Tribunal under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Earlier this year Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF were fined a total of €2.9 billion after they were identified as being involved in a price fixing cartel. The largest fine, €1 billion, was imposed on Daimler, maker of Mercedes Benz trucks. Volvo/Renault was fined €670m, Iveco was fined €495m, and DAF was fined €753m.
“We consider ourselves duty-bound to acknowledge and act upon our members’ wishes. We have taken legal counsel and have thoroughly explored the approach that we need to take,” said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. “If the CAT accepts our application, detailed disclosure of evidence will be released and at that stage the case will be developed more fully.
“This will be a long drawn out process and it is important to stress that hauliers will not get an immediate pay-out; indeed there is no guarantee of any pay-out at all. However it would appear that based on the high level of evidence already received that the prospects for compensation look encouraging.”
Burnett said that the process of obtaining representative status may take up to a year, while the entire process could exceed a further two years.
Burnett added: “We understand that there is an enormous amount of detail behind this and working through it will take a long time. Indeed it could well be in excess of two years before operators see any form of potential compensation, depending on how the case progresses through the CAT for either settlement discussions or even a trial.”
The association said that costs will be significant during the legal process and “beyond the normal means of the association”. Because of this, it will be using a third-party funder to bring about collective proceedings.