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Legal and the Law in Spain

Car cartel case admitted to Court

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According to the OCU consumer association, who are representing car buyers in the cases, the fourth of the class actions filed has been admitted for processing, this time against Opel, Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge, which will allow the investigation into what is being called an anti-competitive pact.

The anti-competitive practices of the manufacturers by the car cartel clearly harmed users who purchased a vehicle between 2006 and 2013, according to the case submitted by OCU, who were forced to pay a higher price than they were entitled to. The Competitions and Markets watchdog (CNMC) took action on this, sanctioning manufacturers and dealers, and the Supreme Court definitively confirmed these sanctions, opening the door to claims from affected users against this “scam model”.

OCU, as a representative consumer organisation, is entitled to propose a collective action in defence of the interests of those affected by the cartel.

The Commercial Court No. 3 of Pontevedra has just admitted the class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of the Opel, Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands.

The affected consumers are those who bought cars:

  • Peugeot, Citröen and Opel between February 2006 and July 2013.
  • Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia from February 2006 and August 2013.
  • Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge between April 2008 and August 2013.

With this, there are now four lawsuits admitted for processing, since to this are added the one filed against BMW, Ford and Mitsubishi before the Commercial Courts of Valencia, the one admitted by the Commercial Court No. 7 of Barcelona against Honda and Volvo and that of the Commercial Court No. 12 of Barcelona against Lexus, Mercedes, Nissan, and Toyota.

Having been admitted, these courts have concluded that OCU’s claims meet the formal and procedural requirements to be able to process them. Now a process begins by which the court informs the defendant brands that they have 20 business days to prepare and present their response to the lawsuit.  We have to continue waiting for the next steps of a justice that is slow, but inexorable.

OCU ask for patience from the thousands of affected people who bought vehicles from other brands and are trusting them to help them recover the money they overpaid due to the illicit agreement between manufacturers and dealers.

If you are one of those affected by the anti-competitive price fixing pact, you can still join the action and defend your interests by contacting the OCU.

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