Two applications to represent the industry and seek compensation for vehicles bought while a truck cartel was in operation have been made to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).

The European Commission issued the record €2.9bn (£2.5bn) fine to Daimler, DAF, Volvo Group and IVECO in 2016 after concluding the OEMs had operated a cartel between 1997 and 2011. MAN was found guilty but as the whistleblower avoided a monetary punishment.

Scania was later fined €881m for its involvement in the cartel.

Hauliers that bought vehicles during this time will not benefit from the fines paid, and the competing cases from the RHA and UK Trucks Claim (UKTC) have different approaches in regards how compensation should be sought for them.

The RHA’s proposed action requires operators that bought vehicles while the cartel was in operation to opt in to the claim, and the association has 3,600 hauliers signed up with a further 700 said to be poised to do so.

UKTC’s approach would be to seek a lump sum of compensation from the OEMs, which operators could then apply to claim back from.

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RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: "We have worked tirelessly on behalf of the industry to see fair play. This is a perfect example of the truck manufacturers working behind closed doors. We need transparency.

“We estimate that the truck cartel will have impacted upon the buyers of 600,000 trucks that were purchased in the UK between 1997 and 2011, amounting to a potential compensation claim of over £5bn. On the same basis, we estimate that operators in the rest of Europe bought 3.4 million trucks and could also be due compensation of over £25bn."

Chairman of the UKTC board Roger Kaye QC said: “We have assembled a strong team of lawyers, economists and other experts to bring the claim with unrivalled experience, and my co-directors are each industry specialists in their chosen fields, with a broad and deep knowledge of the UK trucks market.

“I am confident that this claim provides the ideal opportunity for the UK victims of the truck cartel to achieve justice and fair compensation”.

While UKTC has predicted operators could see compensation of up to £20,000 per truck, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett told MT he believed this was too high, and that the association’s prediction of “more than £6,000” was a more realistic estimate.

Now that the applications have been submitted, the CAT is expected to hold a case management conference in the autumn, where it will make preparations for the full hearing at which the successful application will be chosen.