Volkswagen Faces First Legal Test Case Over Emissions in Germany
Jan 05, 2017 12:26 PM EST
Consumer rights champion myRight of Germany has filed the first legal test case against Europe's largest automaker Volkswagen in Germany on Tuesday, raising demands on the carmaker to compensate customers in Europe over the emissions scandals.
Volkswagen previously has pledged billions to compensate owners in The United States, but so far refused any compensation for the 8.5 million affected vehicles in Europe where different legal policy weaken the chances of winning a payout for the affected customers.
The company instead in the process of eliminating the illicit software that cheated emmisions tests and claims the technical fixes will inflict no loss of value on car owners in Europe. The repairs for all affected vehicles are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Over 100,000 Volkswagen owners have been gathered by myRight through its website, claiming Volkswagen of breaching European Union law by selling cars with banned software under 93-page legal documents of EU rules, according to Reuters.
Jan-Eike Andersen, founder of myRight explains that the lawsuit aims to force Volkswagen to repurchase the vehicles at the original price, rather than seeking compensation for a decline in value.
MyRight commissioned Hausfeld Rechtsanwälte LLP to pursue the claims. According to Wall Street Journal, Hausfeld is a subsidiary of the U.S. law firm that was part of the Joint Plaintiffs Committee that represented U.S. consumers in the Volkswagen class-action litigation.
The main purpose of the proceedings by the consumer rights is to act as a model, resolving common or generic issues for other related case. Unlike in a US class action, however, it does not have the legal effect of resolving all individual claims.
On the other hand, Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen said the software installed into the engine, codenamed EA189, does not violate European law and declined to comment on the accusation.
The carmaker said that they have taken the note that myRight has announced the submission of diesel lawsuit but since the lawsuits have not yet been made available, they cannot comment on the contents at the moment.