Those affected by the air pollution scandal who have sued for damage while late can only hope for money from Volkswagen when it comes to the purchase of a new VW diesel. In the case of cars from other group brands such as Audi, what is known as residual damage is out of the question, as the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled Thursday. According to an earlier ruling from Karlsruhe, buyers of used cars are generally not entitled to this. (Az. VII ZR 422/21)
Residual damage may be due to diesel owners whose claims of damage are justified but are already prohibited by law. The basis is a special provision in the Civil Code, Article 852. According to this, claims may still exist even after the injunction has expired if “the person responsible for compensation has obtained something through an act of torture at the expense of the injured. Party”.
In the case of new VW cars, this requirement is met in accordance with the law of the Federal Court of Justice – because the car manufacturer earned money directly from the sale of cars. With group labels, it is more complicated. VW had provided the Audi scam engine with the EA189 scandal and therefore claims the fraudulent customers basically compensated. However, VW did not have any economic benefits due to the future sale of Audi diesel, the highest civilian judges have now decided.
Interdependence is not important
In his view, it does not matter that Audi and VW are economically integrated into the Volkswagen Group. Because VW earns the best profit from Audi’s overall profitability in the financial year, but not directly due to the price paid for the specific purchase.
According to VW, the decision could be transferred to 1,000 ongoing processes. In the case under discussion, the owner of the Audi from Baden-Württemberg has now been left empty-handed. He filed his case only in 2020. The air pollution scandal came to light in the autumn of 2015. And according to the Federal Court of Justice line, one can expect that the car owner would know the end of 2016 soon if his diesel is also equipped with illegal exhaust gas technology, which in official tests resulted in the illusion of low emission emissions. From this point on, claims of damage had to be confirmed within three years. So by the end of 2019 it was over.
With the first high court decision on compensation remaining in February, there was some movement in the legal processing of the diesel scandal. Because here the trial period is ten years from the date of purchase – this means that diesel owners who bought their new VW between February 2012 and September 2015 can even go to court now. The question, however, is as relevant.
Basically, residual compensation is calculated in the same way as actual compensation. Vehicles affected by the emissions scandal are now at least seven years old and often have to be miles away.
Volkswagen is of the opinion that residual damage is “not economically attractive”, especially for customers with heavily used cars. “Because they have to be compensated for the huge amount of use of their car and hand over their car,” the spokesman said.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220714-99-25072 / 2 (dpa)