VW has suffered a painful defeat in the exhaust gas scandal before the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Koblenz. The 5th Civil Senate of the Superior Regional Court forced the company on Wednesday "for intentional immoral damage" to pay the damages.
For the first time, a superior regional court condemned the auto company itself. So far, second-instance verdicts have only been lost for some VW distributors, which is less dangerous for the Group. The procedure now goes probably to the Federal High Court (BGH). He had already expressed in a supposedly extremely critical sentence for the handling of the Volkswagen engine. Ammunition also provides the verdict to the approximately 400,000 VW customers who have participated in a model declarative action.
The driver of Sharan to obtain 26,000 euros
The plaintiff of the district of Bad Kreuznach must receive from VW 26,000 euros. He had bought a used VW Sharan with an EA 1
The Higher Regional Court (OLG) claimed that VW had placed Sharan "under deliberate concealment of illegal software programming." With this there is "the danger of the operational prohibition and the suspension of the vehicle". That was a damage. In a resale there is a loss of value. VW acted immorally.
The Superior Regional Court emphasized that "a large number of state authorities, competitors and end users have been systematically deceived to maximize profits". Therefore, it is excluded that the VW board or at least the head of the development department had not known the manipulations.
The interpretation of VW disguises more than it explains
At the national level, for the second time a second-instance verdict was issued against the automaker, a VW spokesman relativized the verdict. On the other hand, 25 OLG trials were in favor of the Volkswagen or VW dealers.
However, this interpretation confuses more than it explains. In fact, OLG's previous trials had only fallen against the VW dealers. They pose less risk to the automaker than if they condemn it for their own evil. Behind the 25 lawsuits in favor of VW hiding almost exclusively judges for dealers. Only OLG Braunschweig ruled in favor of the group.
The OLG verdict of Koblenz hits the VW group with force because it supplies new ammunition for much more important complaints. In these there are no VW dealers targeted, but the company and its responsibility for the crime itself.
Positive news is OLG's decision for VW customers who participated in the claim action of the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband ( vzbv). The association wants to say in court that the automotive company must compensate its customers for the manipulated diesel engines. The legal services provider MyRight in turn fights for another 40,000 clients directly against the Group and claims damages. Together, the proceedings could be costly for VW, if the courts get back on track from the Koblenz Superior Regional Court.
"We consider the judgment to be legally flawed and against the appeal," the VW spokesman said in view of Koblenz's ruling. This would go to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH).
The car buyer, who won in front of the Higher Regional Court of Koblenz, was "cautiously optimistic" regarding this. VW had offered before the decision of OLG, the refund of the purchase of Sharan for a good 21,000 euros, but had eliminated. VW spokesman added: "Clarity in specific legal matters, we wait only for a ruling of the Federal Court." There is still no final BGH decision in the VW escape scandal.