Buyers of used Volkswagens in the Netherlands may also be massively eligible for compensation for the carmaker’s cheating software linked to dieselgate. The Dutch Consumers Association (CA) says this is the first time ever in the Netherlands that a judge has awarded compensation to an individual owner of a used VW car with cheating software.
The CA, together with the Volkswagen Group Diesel Efficiency (VGDES), had taken the case to court. They were vindicated with an awarded damages of 1 500 euros for a consumer who bought a used diesel with cheating software in the past. According to the parties, this amount aligns with previous court decisions on used Volkswagens.
Misleading of consumer
The man had bought a used VW Passat with the allegedly fraudulent software installed. Therefore, the court ruled that the purchase price of the car was higher than its actual market value. To bridge the process difference, VW must pay the man who sold his car again for damages of 1 500 euros.
“The district court ruled that VW withheld essential information for a purchase decision and thus misled the consumer,” CA director Sandra Molenaar says. “Our goal is to pull the net around VW tighter and tighter to get the company to talk about a compensation scheme for all Dutch victims.”
The lawsuit is one of four brought by VGDES and the CA on behalf of individual purchasers of VW diesel cars with cheating software. In two previous cases, courts ruled that VW must pay buyers of newly purchased versions of the cars 3 000 euros in damages. A fourth case will go to trial in September.
Carmaker in appeal
VW appealed in the two previous cases and says it is likely to do so in this second-hand car case. “Volkswagen continues to find it curious that buyers are being compensated when they cannot prove any property damage,” said the German manufacturer’s lawyer.
According to the newspaper De Volkskrant, VW in the Netherlands installed the cheating software in 175 000 cars with diesel engines.
Just last week, a Brussels court ordered the German carmaker to pay 5% compensation to buyers of cars equipped with the so-called cheating software that allowed harmful emissions to be manipulated in tests.
Whether the carmaker will also appeal the Brussels court ruling is unclear. “We have to study the verdict first,” said a spokesperson.