The ghosts of the Dieselgate scandal are still haunting the VW Group and it looks like they won’t be going away anytime soon.
The latest news in the seemingly never-ending affair is a court ruling from Germany that could prove catastrophic for the automaker if other courts adopt it. According to the Augsburg civil court’s ruling, Volkswagen must reimburse the owner of a Golf the full price of the vehicle he bought in 2012.
A spokesman for the court quoted by Reuters said VW had acted immorally by deliberately installing emissions-cheating software to increase sales and profits.
The November 14 ruling ordered Volkswagen to repay the owner the original price of almost €30,000 (about $34,000). The automaker was obviously displeased with the decision and said it would appeal the ruling at the higher regional court. The company said it believed the court in Augsburg had misapplied the law.
“In our opinion, there is no legal basis for customer complaints. Customers have suffered neither losses nor damages. The vehicles are safe and roadworthy,” VW said in a statement cited by Reuters.
In its defense, VW argued that most of the customer complaints had been unsuccessful at district and higher courts. Around 9,000 judgments had been issued in Germany with regard to VW’s diesel emissions scandal. The company added that the decision of the district court in Augsburg “stands in contradiction to multiple decisions of other courts in comparable cases.”
VW fitted around 11 million diesel cars worldwide with the defeat device. Imagine what would happen to the company if it had to reimburse each owner the full price they paid when buying the car new.