Today, the Amsterdam District Court handed down its verdict in the class action suit brought by the Car Claim Foundation against Volkswagen, Audi, Škoda, SEAT, Bosch, Pon and various Dutch car dealers. The court ruled that the car manufacturers acted wrongfully towards Dutch motorists. In addition, the court ruled that the diesel vehicles affected did not meet the legal requirements at the time of purchase, as a result of which consumers can reclaim part of the purchase price from dealers.
The court found that between 2008 and 2015, Volkswagen, Audi, Škoda and SEAT produced and sold diesel cars containing manipulative software. Due to this manipulative software, the cars did pass the type approval tests, but did not comply with the regulations in practice. This constitutes "fraud", the Amsterdam District Court held in its judgment today.
Guido van Woerkom, manager of the Car Claim Foundation: "The court ruling is an absolute milestone for aggrieved car owners in the Netherlands. They have been waiting for a long time, but now the disadvantageous position they have had to endure for years because of Volkswagen has finally been acknowledged. Invoking this judgment, motorists can enforce their rights against the manufacturers and dealers. The court found that buyers who bought their new cars before 18 September 2015 paid EUR 3,000 too much. Second-hand buyers overpaid by EUR 1,500. The court's ruling does not enable the motorists affected to enforce the judgment themselves. The Foundation will help aggrieved car owners to obtain their rights as quickly as possible. It is therefore important that they report to the Foundation as soon as possible. This can be done via www.derclaim.nl. ”
In recent years, the Foundation has often invited Volkswagen et al. to enter into discussions to reach a collective settlement for the aggrieved car owners. Volkswagen et al. have always turned down these invitations. The court now states in its ruling that a collective settlement in this case would be preferable. The court urges the car manufacturers to reach a collective settlement with Stichting Car Claim for the benefit of all aggrieved car owners. Van Woerkom: "I sincerely hope that as a result of this verdict Volkswagen will finally accept its responsibility and come to a reasonable solution in consultation with the Foundation. Car owners have been waiting for years for appropriate compensation.”
About Car Claim Foundation
The Car Claim Foundation was established in October 2015. It has since made efforts to represent the interests of car owners aggrieved by the diesel scandal. It is the only interest group that has been approved by the court to collectively represent the interests of aggrieved car owners.
Aggrieved car owners who have not yet reported to the Foundation can still register free of charge via the website www.derclaim.nl.