By Agence France-Presse
Almost five years after Volkswagen’s admission to cheating on emissions tests involving millions of diesel engined cars, a top German court will on Monday finally rule in a battle over compensation for tens of thousands of affected owners.
In a preliminary finding in May, judges at the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) said there was a chance of at least partial compensation for some VW buyers, saying they had indeed been harmed by purchasing a manipulated vehicle.
If the ruling is confirmed at 0900 GMT Monday, tens of thousands of cases for compensation could be brought to a close in the coming months.
Such a ruling would be the first major legal setback for VW in its home country, although the scandal has helped drag the entire car sector — one of Germany’s most vital industries — into a historic crisis.
In recent weeks, an out-of-court settlement covering hundreds of thousands of cases and the closure of criminal proceedings have drawn a line under the biggest domestic risks for the sprawling car group from the “Dieselgate” scandal.
Monday’s hearing specifically concerns a case brought by 65-year-old Herbert Gilbert who bought a diesel-powered Volkswagen Sharan minivan in 2014 — just one of the 11 million cars worldwide fitted with emissions cheating software by the carmaker.
“We expect that we will prevail at the BGH,” said Claus Goldstein, whose legal firm represents Gilbert.