Volkswagen faces consumer lawsuit in Germany after new legislation was introduced
2 November 2018

Newly-introduced German class-action legislation has allowed consumers in Germany to bring a lawsuit against Volkswagen in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal. 

Reuters reports that vzbv, a Frankfurt-based consumer group, filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen with the aim of determining whether the car maker’s emissions-disguising software had intentionally harmed customers. An alleged 40,000 Volkswagen owners have registered an interest in joining the lawsuit, which Volkswagen claims has no legal basis. 

In the US, Volkswagen was forced to compensate all owners of vehicles with the software fitted. 

The move comes as owners of vehicles fitted with the EA 189 diesel motor lament the rapid depreciation of their cars, and the limitations posed by new governmental regulations tackling the emission of noxious gases. Vzbv claims that the cars in question are more pollutive, and less efficient, than was advertised at the point of sale. 

A Volkswagen spokesperson, however, pointed out that “plaintiffs will be under an obligation to prove that they have suffered actual loss or damage.” This means that length of ownership and vehicle condition will be influential factors with regard to informing a payout decision. 

The spokesperson also stated that, despite the new class action laws, any successful case brought against Volkswagen depends on consumers being prepared to "institute individual proceedings claiming a specific amount of damages at their own cost and their own risk".

While it has become easier to form group lawsuits in Germany, the statute of limitations for claiming damages in this instance will expire this year. A subsequent lawsuit will determine what, if any, damages Volkswagen will have to pay. 

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Comments
7

2 November 2018

Never mind the owners, it should be governments pursuing Volkswagen for all the lost VEL duty due to the false emission readings.

3 November 2018

I may be wrong on this but I thought VW cheating was discovered by the Environmental Protection Authority in the USA. They found that Nitrogen Oxide levels were being doctored to meet USA's law.

I don't know how other countries laws operate, but who was cheated on this side of the pond? Most people reading this wouldn't have been aware of NOx - it was never a factor in our decision to buy a car.

catnip wrote:

Never mind the owners, it should be governments pursuing Volkswagen for all the lost VEL duty due to the false emission readings.

Our VED duty is based on Carbon Dioxide emission, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Nitrogen Oxides. Unless VW's quoted g/km CO2 claims were false, then there is no basis to say they cheated our system. If they did cheat the system then yes government should be reclaiming lost VED. 

5 November 2018

Yes, Scotty5, you're completely wrong.  By breaking the law in many, many countries around the world by allowing the engines to produce far more NOx than they were certified to produce, VW group products achieved lower CO2 emissions than would otherwise have been the case.  So on this side of the pond, let's see now... VW has cheated:

small children who will now grow up with asthma or possibly lung cancer;

the health service that will be exposed to increased strain on its resources;

all tax payers who have to bear the burden of increased taxation;

VW owners who now suffer the stigma of owning the products of Stinkwagen;

Government departments that have to take the burden of drafting new and amended legislation;

Owners of compliant diesel vehicles from all the other manufacturers that have now been stigmatised by VW's early attempts to spread the smear;

Hardly anyone, then?  And all down to just a few maverick emissions test engineers, if I remember the initial stories correctly.  How is Rupert's extended stay in clink going?  It's been a tissue of lies from the beginning and, still, after all this they're giving owners the run around.  Even more unbelievably, there are idiots out there that are buying them.

 

3 November 2018
catnip wrote:

Never mind the owners, it should be governments pursuing Volkswagen for all the lost VEL duty due to the false emission readings.

Governments sue in Europe? You having a laugh mate. Considering the German government is influenced quite heavily by the German automakers, do you really think Germany will allow any european country to damage VW financially. Remember a weaker VW is a weaker Germany which means a weaker EU. VW will hide behind Eu legislation that demonised petrol for the last 2 decades for their higher CO2 all the while America did the opposite in the USA. Now it’s the Americans having the last laugh. 

Now the people of the country may have a case to take governements in the EU countries to court for taxing us to choose Diesel over petrol. The government could then potentially sue the EU for damages plus lost tax from false data while the EU recovers damages from VW

 

 

 

3 November 2018

 No, I don’t think so, I think there are a few more Brands quaking in there Boots!

Peter Cavellini.

3 November 2018

If this class lawsuit makes it through based on "... the cars in question are more pollutive, and less efficient, than was advertised at the point of sale",  then many other manufacturers would be very worried at the precident being set.  I've owned MANY makes and models of cars and I can safely say that not one of them was as efficent as they claimed to be.  In fact, one was so far off its claimed MPG, that even if it was devoid of all its seats and carpets, was running on fumes and was being driven by a ghost down a never-ending hill with the ignition off, it STILL wouldn't have made its claimed MPG!

3 November 2018
Celtic Gizmo wrote:

If this class lawsuit makes it through based on "... the cars in question are more pollutive, and less efficient, than was advertised at the point of sale",  then many other manufacturers would be very worried at the precident being set.  I've owned MANY makes and models of cars and I can safely say that not one of them was as efficent as they claimed to be.  In fact, one was so far off its claimed MPG, that even if it was devoid of all its seats and carpets, was running on fumes and was being driven by a ghost down a never-ending hill with the ignition off, it STILL wouldn't have made its claimed MPG!

VW used a software cheat to pass emissions tests.  Not the same thing as optimistic fuel efficiency ratings.

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