Bankruptcy for Volkswagen: The group has to pay customers of diesel vehicles with illegal exhaust gas software compensation. The Federal Court of Justice ruled. Thousands of people can now hope for VW money.
Buyers of manipulated diesel cars are generally entitled to compensation. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Monday in connection with the diesel scandal that they could return their vehicle and partially demand the purchase price back from Volkswagen. The reason for the judgment can be seen in the video above or here.
For the plaintiff in the specific case, a man from Rhineland-Palatinate, this is a partial success. He wanted the full price of just under 31,500 euros back. Under the hood of his used VW Sharan is a type EA 189 diesel engine – with software that ensured that the vehicle complied with the exhaust gas limit values on the test bench, but not on the road. In the fall of 2015, this scam was exposed on a large scale. Millions of cars were affected.
The Koblenz Higher Regional Court had awarded the man a good 25,600 euros plus interest in return for his car. The kilometers he drove had to be taken into account.
In contrast, both sides had appealed. VW was of the opinion that the claimant and all other diesel buyers had not suffered any damage. After all, the car was fully usable at any time.
Judgment can guide thousands of lawsuits
According to VW, around 60,000 diesel lawsuits are still pending before the courts nationwide. The BGH judgment should be an important guideline for most of these proceedings. Because the central question of whether the buyer is entitled to compensation or not has been answered completely differently by the lower authorities.
“The ruling means legal certainty for millions of consumers in Germany and shows once again that even a large corporation is not above the law. Today we made history,” said attorney Claus Goldenstein, whose law firm “Goldenstein & Partner” is responsible for the case and represents a total of around 21,000 clients in the diesel scandal.
The lawyer also predicts: “The judgment will also have a signal effect on the manipulated cars of other vehicle manufacturers, because almost all car manufacturers have integrated illegal shutdown devices in their diesel vehicles.”
Judgment has no effect on comparison
Not everything has been decided with the judgment. The BGH will look at other cases in more detail in further proceedings – for example whether VW customers are entitled to compensation if they only bought their car after the diesel scandal became known. The Karlsruhe judges have scheduled the next three negotiations on VW lawsuits in mid and late July.
The decision of the Federal Court of Justice no longer has any effect on the comparison that the consumer advice centers negotiated with VW on behalf of several hundred thousand diesel owners.