The Stuttgart Regional Court has ordered Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to pay damages in the emissions scandal involving campers based on the Fiat Ducato. In a judgment dated August 11, 2022, the court ruled that FCA must compensate the buyer of a Hymer motorhome because an illegal device was installed in the engine and the buyer was intentionally injured in an immoral way (Ref: 30 O 18 /22).
The Claimant purchased a Hymer B 504 mobile home in July 2015 as a new vehicle. The mobile home is based on a Fiat Ducato with a 2.3-liter diesel engine and is certified according to the Euro 5 emission standard. Although there is no precedent, the plaintiff nevertheless claimed damages due to the use of an unauthorized failure device.
He complained that the exhaust gas circuit will shut off after about 22 minutes. This means that it works long enough for the exhaust gas test for about 20 minutes in test mode, so that the legal limit levels for the emission of carbon dioxide nitrogen on the test bench to be considered. However, after 22 minutes have passed, emissions will increase due to the deactivated exhaust gas cleaning system and the limit values would be exceeded.
The case was successful. LG Stuttgart ruled that the claimant can claim a refund of the purchase price less the usage fee for the kilometers driven against the return of the vehicle. The reason is that Fiat used an illegal failure device. This threatens to invalidate the EC type approval that was granted, but is only valid officially, and the result is a driving ban or at least driving restrictions on public roads. According to the LG Stuttgart, the plaintiff was intentionally harmed in an immoral way according to § 826 BGB and is entitled to compensation.
The timer function ensures that the exhaust gas cycle is reduced after 22 minutes, which results in an increase in nitrogen oxide emissions. This represents an unauthorized device. Whether the flue gas circulation is only reduced or completely turned off is not important, the court has decided. Motorhomes in particular are often on the road for longer than 22 minutes. This means that the exhaust gas cycle operates at a reduced rate for most of the expected driving time and emissions increase, LG Stuttgart continued to say.
Even if there has not yet been a mandatory recall by the Federal Motor Transport Authority due to an unacceptable failure device, there are good chances to enforce compensation in the mobile home emissions scandal. “Many courts have now awarded compensation to buyers,” says lawyer Marcel Seifert, BRÜLLMANN RECHTSANWÄLTE.
The law firm BRÜLLMANN Rechtsanwälte is a partner of the IG Diesel scandal and offers you a free initial evaluation of your options. Communicate with us.
More information: https://bruellmann.de/wohnmobile-abgasskandal