Brussels court orders Volkswagen to pay damages in Dieselgate class-action
The Dutch-speaking Court of First Instance in Brussels has ordered German carmaker Volkswagen to pay damages to those affected by the emissions scandal - known as 'Dieselgate'. Consumer organisation Testaankoop had filed a class action, or collective claim, in addition to the traditional procedure.
At the end of 2015, Volkswagen admitted that the car group had fitted 11 million diesel cars worldwide with software that allowed it to manipulate harmful emissions during tests. In June 2016, Testaankoop filed a class action lawsuit. In doing so, it sought to recover damages for consumers who had bought the cars in Belgium since 1 September 2014.
The court ruled on Thursday that the software was a "prohibited manipulation device" and constituted an "unfair commercial practice". However, a full refund of the purchase price, as requested by Testaankoop, is "not justified". Aggrieved buyers will receive compensation of 5 per cent of the purchase price. Those who are no longer owners are entitled to 5 per cent of the difference between the purchase price and the resale price.
It is not yet clear whether Volkswagen will appeal.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS LAMBERT