For Volkswagen, the Dieselgate scandal is one headache that just won’t go away.
It’s been over three years since news of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating initially broke. Nevertheless, owners are still dealing with its effects, as civil courts continue to hand out judgments against the company. A recent German court ruling stipulates Volkswagen must reimburse an owner the full price of the car he bought in 2012, Reuters reports.
An Augsburg civil court ruled last week that the company “acted immorally” by deliberately installing cheating to increase sales and profits. According to court documents, Volkswagen will have to pay nearly 30,000 euros ($34,200) for his diesel car.
Volkswagen contested the ruling in a statement. The company said, “In our opinion, there is no legal basis for customer complaints. Customers have suffered neither losses nor damages. The vehicles are safe and roadworthy.” Since the diesel scandal broke, Volkswagen also added it had been issued around 9,000 judgments related to the issue. A majority of customer complaints have not been successful in the higher courts. “The decision of the district court in Augsburg thereby stands in contradiction to multiple decisions of other courts in comparable cases,” Volkswagen continued in its statement.
The concern here, in the copmany’s case, is whether other courts will dole out similar rulings in the future. In the U.S., the German automaker settled owners’ claims, agreeing to pay billions to buy back over half a million cars. However, Volkswagen hasn’t reached a similar deal in Europe, where it still faces claims from customers. If courts continue to rule as Augsburg just has, VW could face several billions more in payouts. That may prove untenable for the company, even as it works to shrug off the ghosts of the Dieselgate scandal.