Germany’s Environmental Aid, DUH’s, lawsuits against VW
A German Environmental Aid, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), has recently announced a lawsuit as a result of the emissions scandal arising from VW diesel engines.
Some vehicles have shown excessive nitrogen oxide emissions even after the software updates – aka the emissions “fix” – according to the Federal Managing Director of the environmental aid, Jurgen Resch.
We’re not surprised by the results, and we’re not surprised that VW are facing yet another legal action either!
DUH has always been proactive in its fight against the cheating automaker. In November 2015, DUH launched what was called the ‘largest flood of lawsuits for “Clean Air in Germany” so far’.
In this lawsuit, DUH pressed for a ban of diesel vehicles involved in legal actions across 11 major cities. The lawsuits placed special focus on developing “clean” public transport as well. The lawsuit was supported by British NGO, ClientEarth, against several German Federal States including Cologne, Bonn, Aachen, Dusseldorf, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Frankfurt/Main and Stuttgart. The aim of the lawsuit was to put pressure on the states to limit the emissions; which has been regulated for years, but apparently hasn’t been complied with.
Government pursued as well
DUH brought an action against the Federal Republic of Germany back in January 2016, for their lack of action too. DUH are the only German environmental organisation that are able to act as a consumer protection organisation entitled to take cases to court. In March 2016, they also launched their “Diesel exhaust fumes kill” campaign.
The current complaint made by Jurgen Resch falls on the basis that the recall arrangement made by the German Federal Motor Vehicle Authority (KBA) is unlawful. Jurgen Resch doesn’t further explain why they believe that KBA’s recall arrangement is unlawful, but one suspicion is that it may be because the vehicles are still emitting too much nitrogen oxide emissions post “fix”.
A spokesperson for the competent administrative court Schleswig did not confirm receipt of the complaint. However, there are already two other complaints made by Jurgen Resch against the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority pending.
DUH not backing down
DUH is determined to uncover the ‘dirty truth’ about “defeat devices” used across the industry, saying:
“…six months after the announcement of the exhaust gas scandal at VW, we have sent extensive evidence of possible defeat devices in the Opel Zafira, Renault Espace, Fiat 500X, Mercedes-Benz C 200 CDI…to the Federal Ministry of Transport and other foreign authorities and have asked the authority to carry out official re-measurements.”
DUH’s experiment showed that Daimler vehicles are also showing high (in some cases, higher) nitrogen oxide emissions than the allegedly fraudulent VW diesels.
DUH intended to expand its emission measurements, besides the laboratory testing, by using PEM systems. However, DUH’s progress is slow as their work is entirely donation-based as government agencies are not supportive of the measurements. DUH also claimed some of the agencies/regulators have hindered their work.