Volkswagen Diesel Lawsuit Ends in German Settlement

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volkswagen diesel lawsuit ends in german settlement

German consumer group VZBV has reached an agreement in its class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen over the use of illegal software intended to cheat emissions testing. The settlement amounts to 830 million euros (roughly $912 million USD). While not nearly as sizable as what U.S. customers received in their settlement, it’s what VW believes its European customers deserved. Citing a breakdown in negotiations with VZBV earlier this year, the automaker said it was willing to offer €830 million and wasn’t interested in shelling out any extra for litigation attorneys who allegedly wanted €50 million for handling the case.

The manufacturer seems to have gotten its way, though we doubt VW considers shelling out another billion to handle a five-year-old scandal a major victory.

Volkswagen garnered some hard criticism in Europe after claiming the defeat devices it confessed to using in U.S. cars were always intended to improve vehicular emissions (and didn’t act as intended) during the largest class action suit in the United Kingdom’s history. In Germany, the issue was that residents didn’t have the same legal protections as the United States and were thereby ineligible for compensation.

Apparently not, according to the Higher Regional Court of Braunschweig (Brunswick). It’s totally fine with the idea of a German payout. The company said it’s working on how best to process the settlement and issue payments. Those are expected in to begin in March, with entitled customers receiving their compensation as a lump sum. Volkswagen’s chief corporate council also said the business will provide legal advice as required and on request, if necessary.

“The agreement is good news for customers. We and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations [sic] have achieved a fair and verifiable settlement solution,” Hiltrud Werner, the VW board member responsible for Integrity and Legal Affairs, said in a statement. “We would like to thank the president of the Higher Regional Court for his constructive approach as a conciliation judge and will now do everything in our power to offer and make the one-time payments as quickly as possible.”

[Image: U.J. Alexander/Shutterstock]

Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.