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KARLSRUHE (dpa-AFX) – In the diesel scandal, VW (Volkswagen (VW) vz) owed car buyers in principle damages – frequent drivers, however, will probably go away empty-handed. That became apparent on Tuesday in a hearing of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe. Anyone who has traveled so many kilometers that the estimated mileage of the car has been exceeded has completely exhausted his claims against Volkswagen (Volkswagen (VW) vz) according to the judges. The verdict should be announced in the next few days to weeks.
An important point of contention is also whether VW still has to pay interest on the purchase price of the car to be reimbursed for compensation payments due to the diesel scandal. It is a lot of money because of the large number of proceedings, said BGH lawyer of the Wolfsburg car maker, Reiner Hall. The judges also seem to want to decide this in favor of VW.
The large lines are given in the first Karlsruhe Diesel judgment of May 25th. After that, the use of illegal exhaust technology in millions of diesel vehicles was immoral.
It is also judged by the judge that this has caused damage to the buyers. Car owners who are still arguing with VW in court can return their car and claim the money for it. With one restriction: you have to count the kilometers traveled against the purchase price paid.
This so-called replacement of use also plays a central role in the new case. The plaintiff had bought his VW Passat in 2014 with around 57,000 kilometers on the speedometer. The car has now driven around 255,000 kilometers. The Higher Regional Court (OLG) Braunschweig had assumed that an average trade wind only covered 250,000 kilometers. The man had used the car to the end, so to speak, and any claims against the Volkswagen Group would have been settled.
There is nothing to complain about, said chairman BGH judge Stephan Seiters after initial deliberations by the Senate. The financial damage was completely offset by the use.
The man is demanding back the full purchase price of 23 750 euros, plus interest since 2014. Since then, he has also paid interest – and made diesel claimants little hope: the judges tend to see this as “unjustified overcompensation”. It can be assumed that the plaintiff would otherwise have put the money in another car. So it would have been gone either way. (Az. VI ZR 354/19)
The judges also negotiated the case of a second plaintiff who was left empty-handed at the Braunschweig Higher Regional Court. After the diesel scandal was exposed in autumn 2015, he had the software update offered installed. The damage was thus eliminated for the OLG judges. According to the BGH ruling in May, the crucial point is that the plaintiff would probably never have bought the car if he had known about the manipulations. This case will therefore have to be heard again in Braunschweig. (Az. VI 367/19)
Basically, the judgments from Karlsruhe only help those diesel owners who have sued VW and whose proceedings are still ongoing. That is about 60,000 cases. According to VW, around 50,000 of these are stored similarly to the sample case decided in May.
The group no longer wants to continue these processes and instead offer the claimants one-off payments. That was “the best solution to avoid unnecessarily lengthening procedures,” VW said on Tuesday. The sum depends on the individual case./sem/DP/nas