The first major consumer trial against Volkswagen in Germany begins this Monday, with hundreds of thousands of customers claiming a repair for their tricked diesel vehicles, this is coming four years after the “dieselgate” burst.
The first hearing of this trial, which will be staggered over several years, begins in the Brunswick regional court, about 30 km from the historic Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg (Lower Saxony).
Some 470,000 people signed up for this group requirement, the first of its kind in Germany.
The case has cost Volkswagen billions in expenses. The VZBV consumer association, which acts as the sole plaintiff, accuses the car group of deliberately harming its customers by installing a device that makes the vehicle appear less polluting than it actually is.
The scandal broke out in 2015, when Volkswagen acknowledged having equipped 11 million vehicles with devices to trick the results. Since then, the group has allocated more than 30 billion euros to legal expenses, fines and compensation, mainly in the United States.
Although the sentence is unfavorable to the automobile giant, it will not imply a direct refund, but each registered consumer must claim their rights individually.
At the moment, the manufacturer barely paid three fines in Germany for a total of 2.3 billion euros but is still threatened by a whole list of civil and criminal proceedings.