Status: 21.09.2023, 16:30 p.m.
The Mercedes star on the building of the former headquarters of the automotive group in Stuttgart. © Bernd Weißbrod/dpa/Archivbild
In the wake of the diesel scandal, consumer advocates want to claim damages for a good 2800 Mercedes customers. More than a year after the start of the trial, it is now clear when the decision will be made.
Stuttgart - A decision is to be made next spring in the trial of a model declaratory action brought by consumer advocates against Mercedes-Benz. On Thursday, the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court (OLG) set March 28, 2024 as the pronouncement date. Previously, the 24th Civil Senate had negotiated for about three hours. Among other things, technical details of the affected vehicles and the current case law of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) were discussed.
In 2021, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations filed the model declaratory action in connection with the diesel scandal. In essence, the association accuses the Stuttgart-based carmaker of deliberately manipulating exhaust gas values and wants to claim damages for affected customers. If the more than 2800 car owners who have joined the lawsuit were to be granted a right to compensation, they would still have to enforce it themselves.
The presiding judge Thilo Rebmann had hinted during the session on Thursday that he tended to follow the argumentation of the plaintiff side on several points - including the question of whether the specific cases were defeat devices and whether they were inadmissible or not.
However, some questions were still unanswered, on which the carmaker's lawyers are expected to comment in the coming months. A spokesman for the company said after the hearing: "We will continue to bring our arguments into the proceedings in order to answer the open questions to the satisfaction of the Senate". In addition, one welcomes the fact that the Senate deals extensively with technical issues.
The trial had been postponed several times after it began in the summer of 2022. The reason for this was expected fundamental decisions in the complex. In March, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had shaken up the previous BGH case law in the wake of the diesel scandal and significantly lowered the hurdles for claims for damages.
In doing so, the Luxembourg judges had forced the diesel senate in Karlsruhe to take a step towards consumers in Germany. Since a ruling by the federal judges in June, they can now have reasonable hopes for compensation if illegal defeat devices for exhaust gas purification are installed in their cars. Dpa