VW won’t be appealing against German regional courts’ decisions
In a shock turn of events, VW has decided not to appeal to German court rulings that support victims’ calls for compensation.
Could this be an inference of them accepting guilt here in Europe for the first time?
The German automaker has agreed to buy-back diesel vehicles that have the defeat device software after they waived their right to appeal in several German courts. This still doesn’t mean U.K. victims can expect compensation any time soon, as we still have to fight them through our own court system here in Britain.
Regional court decisions
In May, regional courts of Arnsberg and Bayreuth in Germany ruled in the first-instance to uphold the claimant calls for compensation. One claimant lawyer, Marco Rogert, stated:
“…in future the injured parties may have justified hope that they will be able to enforce their claims in only one instance.”
VW tried to play down rumours of the ruling saying that the reason for not wanting to appeal the decision in the German courts is because of the low value of the vehicles.
Although VW may believe the rulings from Arnsberg and Bayreuth courts won’t have any landmark precedent for future cases, it may still serve to add to the growing momentum worldwide in the fight for justice against the second largest automaker in the world. The cases show that there are courts willing to back claimants in their pursuit for justice and compensation. Arnsberg regional court found that VW violated disclosure obligations, had inadequate operational procedures and committed fraudulent misrepresentation.
VW has also decided not to appeal against a decision made in the regional court of Wuppertal too.
Pressure mounting on VW
There have been multiple calls from consumer agencies across Europe to put pressure on VW to compensate customers affected by the emission scandal. We welcome all those who help in the wider fight for justice across the globe.
Despite VW agreeing to compensate victims in the U.S., they maintain the software doesn’t break any European laws, and therefore refuse to compensate European owners. It’s reportedly thought that diesel vehicles in the U.S. couldn’t pass stringent nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions without using a defeat device, but they purport that European vehicles could pass the EU regulations; which are apparently not as strict. They also say that the software isn’t defined as a “defeat device” here in Europe either.
An applicable EU law contained in a 2007 regulation defines a defeat device which alters “any part of the emissions control system… [during] normal vehicle operation and use.” Clearly, this is the case for VW in Europe given that the software was only activated when they were being tested in the laboratory and then deactivated when it was driven normally on the road.
We cannot see how VW has any leg to stand on in terms of defending our court action here in the U.K.
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