The number of claim procedures was around 23.800 in September 2018 and increased by more than 300% in less than 3 months. It is expected to rise at an even faster rate, as the claims are in danger of becoming time-barred by the end of 2018.
We are aware of 12 cases so far, where the court decided in favor of Volkswagen AG.
It is suspected that in numerous other cases, where clients had a great chance of winning, the car maker may have offered an out-of-court settlement to avoid unwanted media coverage.
We will however never be able to confirm this speculation, as strict non-disclosure agreements always cover such contracts.
A majority of cases are still in process, of course.
Recent changes in the legislation structure help us to an entirely new approach.
A new type of class action lawsuit is debuting in Germany called the "Model Declaratory Action" (Musterfeststellungsklage). The concept was introduced to German Legislature on 1st of November, 2018 and the first large-scale test was initiated on 26th of November, 2018 right with the case against VW.
This simplified and cost-saving method allows certain institutions such as Consumer Protection Associations to perform actions on behalf of affected consumers.
Consumers can simply register to participate without any risk.
Although the process will not result in quantifying the damages (in other words it will not lead to compensation), it is the first, critical step to declare whether the claim is generally founded.
Based on this declaratory judgment (binding for future claims by the customer), further steps will have to be taken. The aim is to create a basis for the easier enforcement of claims for damages.
Volkswagen AG (no surprise) is denying the charges brought against them. Sort of like double reality, isn't it?
They did commit a crime (already confessed on various occasions), but in certain situations (threatening with further financial consequences) they declare they have done everything alright and do not understand this hassle at all.
The problem is that they even have their team of expert lawyers to prove so.
What can we do?
Raise customer awareness, inform as many people as possible and register a surprisingly high number of claims that are not that easy to be neglected anymore.
Please support this cause by sharing. Thank you!
Click here to register.