Recently, European truck manufacturers have been fined almost 3 billion euros for price fixing after admitting they were guilty of violating EU rules. The Road Haulage Association, or RHA, is making a group claim for compensation for those who were overcharged for their trucks. I look into the activities of the truck manufacture’s cartel and see what the RHA’s action means for a haulage contractor who bought or rented a truck in the last two decades.
A group of truck manufacturers has been accused, and admitted, to organising the pricing of trucks from 1997 to 2011. Such activity is illegal under EU competition rules. It means that any haulage contractor that bought or leased a HGV vehicle from 1997 to 2011 may have been charged inflated prices. This group was made up of DAF, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco, MAN and Volvo/Renault. They fixed prices, delayed the introduction of more fuel-efficient Euro 3, 4, 5, and 6 technologies and agreed the cost that operators should pay for Euro technologies. Scania is still being investigated.
The European Commission issued its largest ever fine on the cartel of almost 3 billion euros.
The RHA, a not-for-profit trade association with the interests of the road haulage industry at its core, is leading a group claim to seek compensation for truckers and firms affected by the cartel’s activities. The CEO of RHA says this is an opportunity for individuals affected to claim back money lost without risk to finance or business. Any company, haulage contractor, firm or individual can join the group claim for no cost and no risk if they hired or bought trucks during the time the cartel was operating.
The CEO believes the RHA is “duty bound” to help its members recover the difference between what they paid for their trucks and what would have been paid if the cartel had not existed. A conservative estimate is that you could get around £6,000 per new truck purchased or leased.
The RHA realise that it will be too expensive for people to bring individual claims so propose a group action as the best method of achieving their goal of compensation. They are also aware of the fact that truck operators need to have a good business relationship with the manufacturers involved after the claim has been made, so intend to proceed in a constructive and professional manner.
There is no risk to the individual if RHA lose the claim and those involved should keep about 91% of the compensation owed if they win. RHA is ensuring this by taking out significant insurance for the case.
Learn More or Get Involved
If you’re a haulage contractor who needs more information on the class action or wants to join it, visit RHA’s website for details on how to sign up. The action is open to anyone and you do not need to be a member of RHA to join the group claim.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Haulage Exchange provides services for matching a haulage contractor with available jobs. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.