Should VW pay? – Diesel scandal: now it’s the ECJ’s turn


Court action after court action – the legal handling of the emissions scandal is like a jungle. A ruling by the European Court of Justice could now change that. This concerns any reimbursements by the car company.

The diesel scandal surrounding car manufacturer Volkswagen has been dragging on for years – a veritable jungle of lawsuits and rulings. However, millions of vehicles and their owners are affected. In 2015 it became known that VW used software that manipulated the emission values. All affected cars then had to go to the workshop for an update, which did not solve the problem: due to an illegal shutdown function, the cars are still blowing far too many pollutants into the air.

Courts have already ruled in favor of the plaintiffs
Much to the chagrin of many motorists who complain. In the form of collective lawsuits with the help of the Association for Consumer Information (VKI) or directly as a private individual. A number of rulings have already been made by regional courts in favor of motorists. Only at the end of February did the OGH also agree with a single plaintiff, represented by lawyer Michael Poduschka: he received a pro rata refund of the purchase price. However, only a fraction of those affected benefit from these decisions.

Punitive damages for VW, as in the US?
But what will happen to the approximately 15,000 plaintiffs in Austria alone could soon be clarified. Next Tuesday, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) will decide on damages claims in the VW scandal. According to lawyer Michael Poduschka, the ECJ also has a much higher penalty in the form of punitive damages. The group’s tactic of delaying a decision seems to have come to an end.

Source: Krone


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