Judge questions VW’s defense in landmark case over diesel damages


FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen on a Volkswagen Beetle car during a ceremony marking the end of production of VW Beetle cars, at company’s assembly plant in Puebla, Mexico, July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Imelda Medina/

KARLSRUHE, Germany (Reuters) – A German federal court judge cast doubt on Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) reasoning after the carmaker urged the court to dismiss a claim for damages from a diesel customer.

Tuesday’s proceedings were the first time that Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, or Bundesgerichtshof, heard arguments from a plaintiff seeking damages from VW because it had sold vehicles with manipulated diesel engines.

Any ruling in this landmark case will serve as a guideline for other cases.

Presiding judge Stephan Seiters said several arguments brought forward by Volkswagen were not applicable.

The case is about a Volkswagen customer who sued the company for having sold a car with a manipulated diesel engine so that it could pass emissions tests. The man had been awarded 26,000 euros in damages by a lower court.

The plaintiff is seeking higher damages, while VW has asked the court to dismiss the claim altogether.

A ruling will be made at a later point in time, the judge said.

Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker; writing by Thomas Seythal

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