Consumer advocates threaten with "boxing glove"

Consumer advocates threaten with "boxing glove"

On Thursday, the consumer centers want to pull against VW in court. Tens of thousands of diesel drivers hope for damages.

One day before the nationwide first model declaration suit in the diesel scandal, consumer advocates give militant. "The November 1, 2018 Volkswagen will be remembered as the day on which the gloves of the policy, the boxing gloves of the consumer advocates followed," said the board of the Federal Association of Consumer Centers, Klaus Müller, the German Press Agency. On Thursday, the association wants to represent on behalf of tens of thousands of diesel drivers against Volkswagen in court and claim damages.

Consumer Minister Katarina Barley was also confident that the pattern-finding lawsuit can help many diesel drivers. "Different calculations assume for VW alone that two million consumers can benefit from a one-for-all lawsuit," the SPD politician told the Handelsblatt newspaper. However, the outcome of the proceedings can not be predicted.

The instrument of the model declaration action is new, it comes into force on November 1st. The lawsuit seeks to help consumers gain more justice in lawsuits against businesses. Nearly 40,000 consumers would have been interested, said Müller. Even if not everyone really joined in the end, the number was "pleasingly large". The lawyers of the association expect that tens of thousands of diesel drivers register in the official register, which will be set up after filing the complaint with the Federal Office of Justice.

Owners can join a model declaration suit

In September 2015, VW had to allow manipulation of diesel engines. US environmental agencies had found that only in tests, the exhaust gas cleaning was fully activated, while the output on the road was much higher. The mandatory recall at Volkswagen affects 2.5 million cars. If they have not gone to court themselves, the owners may join the pattern-finding suit.

"We look with respect to the court to Brunswick and with optimism and the will to fight the cause of the scandal to Wolfsburg," said Müller. Volkswagen expects the case to go to the Federal Court of Justice. Barley also ruled out that individual cases must be decided by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

If the consumer centers are right in the prototype process, the diesel drivers have to enforce the amount of the damages themselves and possibly even once again in court. Barley also thinks it's possible that VW in this case is ready for compensation. If it was clarified in the model-finding process that there was a claim for damages, the defendant company would "very well consider whether it could still be sued by each individual injured party or whether it now compensates quickly, simply and fairly," she said. (AP)

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