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Diesel scandal: According to the EU's attorney general, Volkswagen's thermal windows are illegal

Diesel scandal: According to the EU’s attorney general, Volkswagen’s thermal windows are illegal

According to the European Union Advocate General, the exhaust gas cleaning technology violates European law

Now it was revealed a few years ago Diesel scandal
A long-awaited decision has been made: the Prosecutor General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is appealing against Volkswagen
And Porsche
Thermal windows are illegal. On Thursday, Attorney General Athanasios Rantos said that the exhaust systems used by car manufacturers, in which exhaust gas cleaning is stopped outside a specified temperature range and above a certain altitude, violate European laws.

Thermal windows are an exhaust gas cleaning technology in diesel cars that is used by many car manufacturers. Some of the exhaust gases are returned to the engine and burned again. This mechanism works best in a certain temperature window: with especially warm and cold outside temperatures, less or no exhaust gases are recirculated. Then diesel vehicles emit more harmful nitrogen oxides.

Lawsuits from Austria

The specific cases relate to lawsuits from Austria against Volkswagen. Austrian courts – the Supreme Court and the regional courts in Klagenfurt and Eisenstadt – submitted questions to the European Court of Justice. According to the lawsuits, exhaust gas cleaning in the affected cars only fully worked when the outside temperature was between 15 and 33 degrees and at an altitude of less than 1,000 metres.

This means the thermal window does not represent actual driving conditions, the attorney general said. Official statistics showed that average temperatures between 2017 and 2019 in Austria, Germany and other EU member states were well below 15 degrees Celsius. Because of the terrain of Austria and Germany, cars often drove at altitudes of more than 1,000 meters.

Eagerly waiting for the verdict

According to the attorney general, the thermal window does not fall into the exception made for equipment intended to protect the engine from damage. He said that the thermal window is especially gentle on the additional parts, the work of which does not affect the protection of the engine.

He argued that the unacceptable instrument of defeat was not a simple breach of contract. Thus consumers can demand termination of the contract. European Court of Justice judges do not have to abide by the attorney general’s opinion in their ruling – which is expected within a few months. But they often direct themselves to it.

This is how Volkswagen advocates and consumer advocates react

Volkswagen said Thursday that it will continue to consider defeat devices justified to protect the engine from damage. So the car manufacturer continues to consider their thermal windows to be permissible and concludes that they will not have to pay any compensation.

However, consumer proponents say the report has confirmed them. “It is clear that Volkswagen has been illegally deceived again. If the European Court of Justice follows this view, it also means the tailwind of the 10,000 class plaintiff in the class action of VKI. Because there is another argument that the buyer is paying too much for vehicles with In the worst case, there is also the risk of losing registration or taking measures to modify vehicles. That would result in VW being paid billions more,” explained Thomas Hermke, Head of Legal at the Consumer Information Association (VKI).

“The Consumer Protection Association (VSV) welcomes this report. It is part of our mill in lawsuits against diesel manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Daimler, Mercedes, Porsche and others,” VSV President Peter Kolba said in a broadcast. “We provide buyers risk-free and risk-free lawsuits against manufacturers.”

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