Claims for damages in the VW exhaust scandal according to a ruling of the district court Trier according to not mandatory end of 2019. "A problematic and unresolved legal situation" could postpone the beginning of the statute of limitations, the judges ruled after the announcement of the court on Wednesday.
The three-year limitation period does not begin until "an appropriate assessment of the legal situation" is possible. In the cases of diesel exhaust manipulation in connection with the engine type EA 189 is still a supreme court decision.
In the present case, the court granted the claim of a Volkswagen customer and in principle ordered the car manufacturer to pay back the purchase price of a VW Golf.
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VW intentionally inflicted damage on the applicant and on false pretenses. The woman purchased the car in February 2014 and filed a claim in February 2019. In the opinion of the court, the claims for damages were not barred.
For the beginning of the statute of limitations, it needs a "triggering knowledge": The VW-September 2015 communication on irregularities in the software used in diesel engines of the type EA 189 is not sufficient, justified the court. For such complicated issues, "higher demands have to be made".
The Trierer lawyer Christof Lehnen, who has led the proceedings before the court, said it was an important judgment. For so far drivers were assumed that those claims for damages as of December 31, 2019 barred.
A VW spokesman said the company considered the verdict wrong and would appeal against it. Following the publication of a communication at the end of September 2015, the topic was widely disseminated. Plaintiffs can not therefore rely on not knowing that their vehicle is affected. Their claims are barred at the end of 2018.
(File reference 5 O 417/18)