Company must pay Consumer €4,440.00, Dutch Consumer Group – the Consumentenbond – Calls for Settlement Talks
On Friday October 6, 2023, the Sub-District Court of Oost-Brabant (‘s-Hertogenbosch) ruled that Volkswagen must compensate yet another Dutch Dieselgate consumer who purchased a VW vehicle containing illegal defeat device software. The Court ruled that Volkswagen must pay €4440 – the equivalent of 10% of the vehicle’s purchase price.
This is the latest of four lawsuits brought by the Volkswagen Group Diesel Efficiency Foundation (VGDES) (a Dutch organization representing consumer rights) and Consumentenbond (the Dutch consumer rights organization) on behalf of consumers defrauded by VW. Earlier this year, in March, April and July 2023, other Dutch courts all ruled against Volkswagen finding that it must pay damages to Dutch consumers who similarly purchased vehicles equipped with illegal software. In those prior rulings, the courts awarded €3,000 for an impacted new VW diesel vehicle and €1,500 for a used one. In this latest opinion, the judge increased the penalty finding that those amounts were too low, and determining that the appropriate sanction was a percentage of the vehicle’s purchase price.
A Fourth Defeat for Volkswagen
“This is the fourth time in a row that the Court has ruled against Volkswagen,” said Dick Bouma, chairman of VGDES. “The judge swept aside all VW’s technical legal defenses, and simply found that the car maker deceived consumers. Courts here and all over the world have determined that the company has deliberately misled consumers, including by promoting these diesel cars as environmentally friendly. It is time for Volkswagen to compensate harmed consumers.”
Volkswagen Should Resolve the Claims of the Hundreds of Thousands Dutch Consumers
Sandra Molenaar, Consumentenbond CEO, is pleased with the ruling and looks ahead: “So far we have won all four lawsuits against VW concerning its illegal use of defeat device software in diesel cars. Following this even stronger decision, we again invite Volkswagen to engage in settlement talks. Hopefully, the company is now prepared to compensate all affected Dutch consumers. If not, there are thousands of individual cases we can file against the Company. And, if necessary, we will take each and every case to court to hold Volkswagen accountable and to force the Company to compensate all impacted consumers.”