Germany’s top court ruled against Volkswagen in the so-called Dieselgate case, ordering the company to compensate car owners.
Ilona Wissenbach reported the news for Reuters:
Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) must pay compensation to owners of vehicles with rigged diesel engines in Germany, a court ruled on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to the automaker almost five years after its emissions scandal erupted.
The ruling by Germany’s highest court for civil disputes, which will allow owners to return vehicles for a partial refund of the purchase price, serves as a template for about 60,000 lawsuits that are still pending with lower German courts.
Jasmine Bauomy from Euronews wrote:
A VW spokesperson stated that the company will now approach other customers who had made claims and offer them a one-time reimbursement if they return their car. In a statement sent to Euronews, VW spokesperson Nicolai Laude said the size of that reimbursement will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
She also said the ruling is no cause for new claims, adding that there are still unanswered questions, such as a statute of limitations, and whether customers who have bought their car after September 2015 are allowed to make claims, as well.
Joshua Posaner from Politico noted:
According to the ruling “the buyer of a vehicle with an impermissible shutdown device is entitled to compensation claims against VW” and “they can request reimbursement of the purchase price paid for the vehicle, but must have the benefit of use taken into account and make the vehicle available to VW.”
Earlier this year, VW made €830 million available for settlements with disgruntled drivers as part of a deal with Germany’s consumer groups that allows compensation of up to €6,250 per vehicle.
The decision by the country’s highest court follows a ruling by a regional court asked to decide whether a motorist should be reimbursed for the entire cost of a VW Sharan installed with the emissions cheating technology, more than €30,000.