Consumers intentionally harmed unethically
With the present decision, the district court of Nuremberg-Fürth recognizes the plaintiff’s claim for intentional wrongful damage. On January 26, 2016, the plaintiff bought an Audi car, type A5 Cabrio (engine 3.0 TDI) for EUR 57,116.00. This was equipped with the EA 897 engine, which is a new generation engine from Audi AG.
A control program was implemented in the car engine to improve the emission of nitrogen oxides. As part of what is known as the exhaust gas cycle, some of the exhaust gases are released into the exhaust system to be reburned. This circulation of the exhaust gas is done only within a certain temperature range. Outside this temperature window, nitrogen oxide limits are not reached.
falsification of the licensing authority
The court found it proven that Audi AG defrauded the relevant approval authorities through strict measures by manufacturing and placing on the market an engine with a tampered engine control software. When applying for vehicle approval, the manufacturer must demonstrate that the vehicle complies with the limit values. If these are not observed, the vehicle owner may have his driving license revoked. However, the car only complies with the limit values on the test bench – ie during the approval process – but not under real driving conditions.
This technical information was not disclosed to the relevant authorities by Audi AG at the time of approval. The Federal Motor Transport Authority – as the competent authority – was misled about compliance with the limit values, which justified the plaintiff’s claim.
Test bench recognition justifies compensation
The vehicle in question has an unacceptable failure device within the meaning of Art. 5 Para.1 VO (EG) 715/2007. The existing heating strategy (strategy A), that is, the overheating of the operating components at the beginning of the NEDC with the result that the behavior of nitrogen oxides is positively affected, is part of the emission control system within the meaning of Art. Number 10VO (EG) 715/ 2007 The pollution is monitored and controlled transparently. The strict parameters of the engine control program mean that emissions are reduced only on the test bench. Under real driving conditions, however, the limit values are not observed in any way.
Consumers’ opportunities to claim damages increase
The retrial of Audi AG before the German court increases the chance for customers to receive compensation for their cars.