On the fifth anniversary of the fraud software scandal at the German automotive group Volkswagen, the majority of the vehicle owners involved are still waiting for compensation for the damage suffered. The consumer organization Test Achats reported this on Friday.
“Only in the USA and in the manufacturer’s home country were large sums paid to compensate consumers,” says Test Achats, who does not accept that “a Belgian driver is worth less than a German in the eyes of Volkswagen”.
Volkswagen was discredited globally in 2015 when it was found the company had been playing around with emissions data from millions of diesel vehicles for years. On the test bench, the company made a conscious effort to ensure that its cars emit fewer nitrogen oxides using software than if they were actually driving on the road.
Test Achievement has therefore started negotiations with the car manufacturer to enforce compensation for Belgian owners of such a car. “After numerous discussions in 2015 and 2016, we decided to initiate a class action lawsuit in 2016,” says Ivo Mechels, CEO of Euroconsumers and Test Achats. “After the case was declared admissible at the end of 2017 with a so-called opt-out system with which we can automatically defend all victims in court, the case has to appear in the next phase because Volkswagen is not ready to find a negotiated solution to find. ”
In addition to the Belgian lawsuit, class actions have also been initiated by Test Achats’ sister organizations in other countries such as Italy, Portugal and Spain. “Even there, the drivers who have been betrayed are still deprived of their compensation five years after the date,” denounces the consumer organization.
At the beginning of this year, however, it became clear that Volkswagen was putting around 830 million euros on the table to compensate its German customers. “This is a continuation of a procedure that was initiated by a German consumer association,” says Test Achats. Compensation between $ 1,350 and $ 6,257 has been paid for approximately 260,000 people who participated in the lawsuit in question.
“For Volkswagen, one German consumer is worth more than another, and it is precisely the single European market that has helped the manufacturer achieve such a strong position,” says Test Achievement.