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The ruling of the European Court of Justice in the diesel scandal will lead to a new wave of lawsuits

“This decision by the European Court of Justice will lead to more class action lawsuits against diesel manufacturers,” say consumer advocates Peter Colpa. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) reduces the hurdles for claims for damages by buyers of diesel cars in the case of unacceptable exhaust technology. Luxembourg judges ruled in the Mercedes case on Tuesday that car manufacturers could also be liable if they simply acted negligently without any intent to defraud.

This would have a significant impact on German and Austrian case law. Because in the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), the plaintiffs had no chance of obtaining compensation unless they were deliberately and knowingly deceived by the manufacturer in an unethical manner. These strict criteria were only in Volkswagen EA189 engine scandal carrying out. The negligent action is now sufficient for the European Court of Justice – something easier to prove.

Judges in Germany and Austria must now implement these requirements. about it European Court of Justice rulingIt is clear that the courts in all cases have stopped a large number of diesel proceedings in which this issue is important. In the Federal Court of Justice alone, more than 1,900 appeals and complaints of inadmissibility are currently pending, the clear majority of which have been deferred due to ECJ proceedings.

the “Diesel SenateBGH has already scheduled a hearing for May 8, where it intends to discuss “the possible consequences of German liability law” in order to provide lower instances with guidelines as quickly as possible. Because with the ruling of the European Court of Justice, not all questions have been clarified in a distant perspective. For example, it is unclear how much money affected car buyers are entitled to.

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was the background of the procedure Claiming damages From Germany against Mercedes-Benz because of the so-called thermal window. Thermal windows are part of the engine control system, which throttles exhaust gas cleaning at low temperatures. Car manufacturers argue that this is necessary to protect the engine. On the one hand, environmental organizations see it as a tool that helps make vehicle emissions appear smaller under test conditions than they are in real traffic. The European Court of Justice considers that these thermal windows are permissible only within very narrow limits.