Swiss VW owners seek damages for Dieselgate emissions scandal

400The consumer protection organization in Switzerland, SKS filed a claim for nearly 6,000 Volkswagen car owners seeking damages from the carmaker and AMAG the Swiss car dealer, for the emissions scandal. The claim was handed over to the Zurich commercial court.

SKS said it was assuming damages amounted on average to 15 per cent of the initial retail price of the vehicles concerned and that, together with insurance companies supporting the legal action, it wanted to give Swiss-based car owners the possibility to enforce their rights without disproportionate financial risk.

The cars sold as environmentally friendly were overpriced from the beginning. Due to the manipulation of the exhaust system, they then lost even more of their value on the secondary market,” SKS (Stiftung fuer Konsumentenschutz) said in a statement yesterday.

Volkswagen said it would examine the details of the claim once it had them but said it saw no fundamental case as industry experts had not been able to establish any significant loss of value for VW diesel vehicles on the Swiss market.

“The trust and satisfaction of our customers are extremely important to us. However, we are of the opinion that there are no legal grounds for claims connected with the diesel issue,” it said in a statement.

Volkswagen added that 98% of the more than 173,000 vehicles affected by the scandal in Switzerland already have been refitted with the owners paying nothing for their refitting.

AMAG, which imports the cars into Switzerland, said in a statement on its website it did not understand why SKS filed the claim because prices on the secondary market for VW diesel cars were at least on the same level or even higher than those of competing models.

It also said it had not acted with the intention of wilfully deceiving customers.

In September of 2015, VW admitted to installing software into hundreds of thousands of its U.S. diesel cars in order to cheat tests for exhaust emissions and make the cars appear to be cleaner than they really were while in operation on the roadways, and said as many as 11 million of the vehicles could have software that was similarly installed worldwide.

Earlier in December, the highest court in Germany rejected a Volkswagen bid to suspend work by a special auditor that was appointed to investigate the actions of management in the company’s emissions scandal.


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