On Wednesday, the German government put forward a draft law allowing drivers to seek compensation on Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scam before the case expires. The draft law still needs parliamentary approval and will take effect only on November 1. Under the draft law, claims can be filed by established consumer protection groups representing a minimum of 50 plaintiffs.
German Justice Minister Katarina Barley believes that over 2 million diesel car owners may join the class-action lawsuit to get compensation from Volkswagen. Klaus Mueller, the head of Germany’s VZBV Federation of Consumer Organisations, didn’t find it feasible for each driver to take on VW alone and referred to the government’s draft law as an “a milestone for consumer protection“.
Volkswagen has already admitted guilt and paid a $2.8bn criminal fine in the US for equipping cars with test-cheating software. It has long maintained that similar software used in 9m cars in Europe was legal. Volkswagen said it supported “the effective enforcement of legitimate consumer rights” but believed that any planned collective action against VW did “not change the fact that there are no legitimate claims in Germany” because VW’s software did not break any law.