German Justice forces Volkswagen to buy back tricked-out cars

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Almost five years after the scandalized diesel engine scandal broke, the German Supreme Court (BGH) has ordered Volkswagen to reimburse a customer for part of the price it paid for a car equipped with one of those engines. Herbert Gilbert, 65, bought a second-hand Volkswagen Sharan diesel in 2014 for € 31,490. A Court of Appeal had already given reason to this retiree and had sentenced the manufacturer to pay him 25,616 euros and accept the vehicle in return.

Both parties appealed, the buyer to demand the entire purchase price and the company to avoid compensation, but this judgment ultimately confirms the previous one, of the Upper Regional Court (OG) of Koblenz, establishing jurisprudence on the obligation on the part of Volkswagen to repurchase the cars, which in total are 11 million, granting them to discount the loss of value for use from the initial price, counting the kilometers traveled by each vehicle.

Several weeks ago, at the end of April, and in anticipation of this judgment, Volkswagen managed to close a friendly agreement for the joint value of 9 million euros with several thousand buyers, to avoid the class action lawsuit. The German company will pay at least 750 million euros to indemnify 235,000 customers with a lesser amount and, above all, managed to criminally remove executive director Herbert Diess, accused by the prosecution of manipulation of financial markets, and the director of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Pötsch.

The pending investigations now concern only Martin Winterkorn, the chief executive of Volkswagen when the scandal was discovered and who subsequently resigned, and Rupert Standler, a former head of Audi.

But some 60,000 individual client claims are still ongoing in German courts and will benefit from this Supreme Court ruling. There is also a pending lawsuit with investors, who are demanding compensation for the drastic drop in the price of shares on the stock market.

In today’s ruling, it is established that the manufacturer deliberately harmed its customers with immoral behavior. Volkswagen describes this verdict as an “end point” in a statement. The group “now strives to complete these proceedings as soon as possible with the agreement of the plaintiffs. We will approach them with the appropriate proposals ”, the text advances,“ offering claimants a pragmatic and simple solution, with one-time payments. How much each one amounts to, will depend on the individual case ». .

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