Emissions scam: Audi sued before BGH succeeds

Emissions scam: Audi sued before BGH succeeds

For the first time, plaintiffs have sought damages from Audi before the highest German civil court. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe upheld four decisions of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Munich, which largely awarded the necessary funds to Audi buyers. (Az. VII ZR 238/20 etc.)

The judges in Munich were of the opinion that Audi had fraudulently defrauded its customers. It seems out of the question that the diesel engine could have been installed almost indiscriminately without testing it myself and knowing the required characteristics. Audi appealed against these decisions – in vain.

The diesel engine with the internal designation EA189 was developed by Volkswagen, but was also installed in various Audi models. In the last two cases, BGH lost solid evidence that someone at Audi knew about illegal exhaust technology. On the other hand, the Munich High Regional Court came to the conclusion that it was unthinkable that at least one person responsible for Audi was not aware of it. The BGH judges complained about a number of errors, but saw themselves bound by the High Regional Court’s assessment in the result. The four decisions are now final.

Mid-September 2015: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accuses Volkswagen Group of equipping diesel cars manufactured between 2009 and 2015 with software that spoofed tests on US environmental regulations. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) came to similar conclusions. Both executives send the complaint to VW. (Pictured: EPA Headquarters in Washington DC)
(image: EPA

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Most of those affected took legal action against VW, not Audi. In this way, it was much easier to enforce claims of damages. According to Audi, there are still a low four-digit number of pending proceedings. However, not all cases can be compared with cases now decided.

More than six years after the fraud was published, Volkswagen Group’s legal case is still not fully settled. In the Audi brand, post-treatment exhaust gas manipulation apparently continued even after the discovery. This is another reason why many proceedings related to the diesel engines developed at Audi are still pending.


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