German court ruling clears the way to settle VW diesel cases

Andrew Cummings
May 26, 2020

Volkswagen is facing more fallout from its "dieselgate" scandal - this time on its home turf.

Monday's hearing specifically concerns the case of a 65-year-old Herbert Gilbert who bought a diesel-powered Volkswagen Sharan minivan in 2014. He had sought the full purchase price, but the court ruled that he should accept less because of the distance-related depreciation he was driving. The landmark ruling opens the way for German VW owners whose vehicles were equipped with devices that gave false emissions readings during testing to claim compensation. The plaintiff had paid just under 31,500 euros for the auto in 2014 and wanted the full price back.

"Volkswagen now aims to soon bring these cases to a close in agreement with the plaintiffs", the company said in a statement, promising "appropriate offers" to affected owners.

In light of this most recent ruling, lower courts will now be free to determine what amount of compensation those 60,000 owners are entitled to.

The mileage discount limited VW from a significantly higher financial blow. The sum was less than the purchase price of 31,490 euros, because they took into account the loss of value from use.

The most current judgment eliminates among the last remaining lawful dangers to Volkswagen in Germany in relationship to thescandal The firm in February paid a negotiation with around 240,000 cars and truck proprietors in a different activity that will certainly cost it concerning EUR750 m.

Despite not receiving the full price in return, Gilbert called it "a great day" and a "great verdict".

The end of April also brought the closure of a mass lawsuit against the carmaker by hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs, the first of its kind and one of the biggest legal risks stemming from "dieselgate".

Volkswagen stated it would certainly pay payment in Germany immediately as well as deal one-off settlements depending on specific cases.

"We are convinced that plaintiffs have no claim if they ought to have known about the (cheating software)", the company said.

The German vehicle giant has so far paid more than 30 billion euros (33 billion US dollars) in regulatory fines and settlements worldwide.

On the criminal side, present chief executive Herbert Diess and supervisory board boss Hans Dieter Poetsch are off the hook on charges of market manipulation from Brunswick prosecutors, after VW paid a total of nine million euros to settle the charges. The ruling applies to some 60,000 individual claims for compensation that have been working their way through the court system in Germany.

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