While Audi sells a new car with a VW engine, VW has no immediate profit from sales. But that would be a prerequisite for claims of residual damage against VW, as BGH decided.
Diesel plaintiffs who went to court late can only hope for money from Volkswagen (VW) when it comes to the newly purchased VW. In the case of vehicles from other group brands such as Audi, the requirements for so-called residual damage in accordance with § 852 sentence 1 of the German Civil Code (BGB) do not exist, as the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday (judgment of July 14, 2022, Az. VII ZR 422/21).
In the case that has now been decided, the plaintiff bought a new Audi Q5 from a car dealer in December 2011, an engine that was affected by the diesel scandal. In 2020, he sued VW for compensating the purchase price under consumer compensation. He claimed that he only found out that his car was affected by the so-called emissions emissions scandal in a letter from AUDI AG in January 2017. His case was largely successful in the lower courts.
However, the VW appeal was successful in BGH. The claim for compensation claimed by the complainant in accordance with § 826 BGB was temporarily withheld. VW is also not responsible for the alternative claims of residual damage. Section 852 sentence 1 BGB presupposes that VW has acquired something from the sale of the car in relation to the plaintiff. Such changes in property should also be rejected when buying a new car.
There is no profit for VW when selling Audi
This is because VW often gained economic benefits through the manufacture and sale of engines for Audi, but not through the future sale of the car in which the engine was installed. “The conclusion of a vehicle purchase agreement between the injured person and the car dealer, which resulted in damage, on the one hand, and a possible benefit to the defendant from the internal transfer of the car engine group to the car manufacturer, on the other , not the same basis – not just directly – the transfer of property as a claim under § 852 sentence 1 BGB requires “, decided VII.
The fact that VW, as a parent company, is economically connected to the car manufacturer Audi does not bring a separate assessment. “The sales revenue of the subsidiary from the sale of the manufactured car does not justify, directly or indirectly, the increase in the value of the shares of the main company,” states a BGH statement. Best of all, VW made a profit in relation to Audi’s overall profitability, but not particularly in relation to the purchase price paid to the car dealer. But that is the key in the context of § 852 sentence 1 BGB.
According to VW, the decision could be transferred to 1,000 ongoing processes. Buyers of new VW cars, on the other hand, may have lawsuits under section 852 sentence 1 BGB, as BGH ruled in February, despite the law of limitations. According to an earlier ruling from Karlsruhe, anyone who has bought a used car in general has no claim for compensation.