Germany’s VW dieselgate ruling has ‘no consequence’ for UK claims as vehicles are ‘legal’

Volkswagen says UK customers have not suffered any loss or damage as a result of the issue with the German manufacturer confirming it would defend itself robustly against any action. The firm said the action in Germany would have little impact on cases around the world with the German decision having no consequence on UK legal action. 


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The emissions scandal exploded last night after VW lost a historic case in Germany’s highest civil court. 

The case involved compensation for the owner of a secondhand minivan which was fitted with software aimed at cheating emissions tests. 

This legal ruling sets a benchmark for compensation for up to 60,000 other cases in Germany. 

VW has confirmed it will now offer all affected motorists in Germany a one-off payment with final values dependent on individual cases. 

READ MORE: Mercedes Benz could be forced to pay £10,000 in compensation to every owner

Herbert Gilbert, the plaintiff, will be partially reimbursed for his vehicle as a result of the case. 

Around 91,000 claimants are set to take action against VW in a major ‘class action’ case. 

VW lost the first round of action as high court judges found VW had installed the cheat device in their Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands. 

Slater and Gordon, which represented the majority of claimants reported the judge had called VW’s UK defence “highly flawed” and “hopeless”. 

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Volkswagen have disputed the allegations in the UK and have revealed the latest German action will not affect their legal position in the UK. 

They have previously claimed the outcome only related to preliminary issues and does not determine liability. 

In a statement provided to, VW said class action would vary between each market before confirming their cars were safe, roadworthy and legal. 

The statement said: “The verdict of the German Federal Court of Justice does not change Volkswagen Group’s legal position, neither in Germany nor on an international level. 


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“In particular, the decision in Germany has no consequence on any legal action in the UK. It relates to specific provisions of the German Civil Code.

“The legal questions vary from one market to the other. Each jurisdiction is unique and the judgment of the Federal Court of Justice has little impact on cases in other countries.

“The Volkswagen Group has consistently said that there is no legal basis for any claims against it in the UK. Our UK customers have not suffered any loss or damage as a result of the NOx (nitrogen dioxide) issue. 

“The Volkswagen Group has defended itself robustly against all claims brought against it in the UK, and will continue to do so. 

“The fact is that the vehicles are and were safe, roadworthy and legal to drive despite the NOx issue.”

The cheat ‘defeat device’ will detect when a car is being tested and reduce its performance to improve emissions. 

This had the effect of the car being able to trick the test into believing the car only produced a certain amount of nitrogen dioxide while on the road. 

These restrictions were then removed under normal driving conditions which allowed up to emissions to reach up to 40 times legal limits. 

In February the company paid a settlement to 240,000 car owners in Germany which will cost the firm more than £670million. 

The dieselgate scandal has cost VW more than £25billion in fines and charges since the story broke in 2015. 

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