Instead of using the test case, some consumers are relying on their own lawsuits against Volkswagen. Some ended up at the Federal Court of Justice. How about the handling of the still open cases?
NAfter the latest rulings by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on the emissions scandal, the VW Group is holding out the prospect of compensation for around 50,000 more diesel customers. With more than half of these individual plaintiffs, law firms are already in talks about a corresponding settlement offer, as the German press agency learned from the company. Of these, the negotiations have now ended successfully in around 7,000 cases.
There should be one-off payments that are calculated individually. Whoever accepts the money can also keep the car. The alternative is to wait for the judgment in your own proceedings, in which the judges are allowed to orientate themselves on the BGH interpretation. Then plaintiffs may receive the purchase price minus an amount for the use of the vehicle – however, they must return the vehicle to Volkswagen as part of this “reverse transaction”.
The group is aiming to compensate the majority of the approximately 60,000 remaining diesel drivers who had initiated their own lawsuits outside of the model lawsuit by consumer advocates and whose proceedings are still pending in German courts. Most of the cases classified as eligible, the automaker wants to have off the table by the end of the year with the help of the new comparison offers. An acceptance rate of 75 percent is expected.
To a large extent in favor of the plaintiff
In contrast to the model declaratory action, due to the variety of constellations, there is no uniform “payout matrix” from which predefined amounts of compensation can be derived for each car model and age. It’s about individual regulations. It also depends on the duration of use and age.
In the collective proceedings, the group and the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) reached an out-of-court settlement after a lot of dispute. According to this, the participating diesel customers receive between 1350 and 6257 euros, depending on the vehicle. More than 95 percent of the settlements assumed here have now been completed. In total, Volkswagen had considered claims to be justified in a good 265,000 lawsuits.
A number of motorists who saw themselves cheated by the company because of falsified emissions values in the diesel affair, however, went to court themselves – often in expectation of higher compensation. After thousands of proceedings before local, regional and higher regional courts, the first such case came to the BGH for hearing in May.
The highest civil judges largely decided in favor of the plaintiff, but also set guard rails for similar cases. VW announced that it would approach customers in a large part of the open proceedings. Further BGH judgments followed in July.