In the diesel scandal, VW AG suffered another setback at OLG level relating to the EA288 engine. After the consumer-friendly judgment of the Cologne Higher Regional Court in February 2021, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court is now investigating the suspicion of immoral and deliberate damage in proceedings relating to the EA288. The court asked the Wolfsburg-based automotive company to comment on the manipulation allegations in a substantiated manner.
The EA288 engine from Volkswagen is the successor to the EA189, which triggered the global diesel scandal in 2015. Examinations also found abnormal exhaust gas values for the EA288, but VW still denies using illegal shutdown devices on this engine. The EA288 has been installed in every diesel vehicle from VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat as a 2014 TDI, 1.4 TDI or 1.6 TDI since around 2.0.
installed since around 2014 - the EA288
In February 2021, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne ruled in proceedings relating to EA288 (Az .: 19 U 151/20) that manipulated engine control software had been installed in the vehicle in question. According to the Cologne judge, VW deliberately deceived the customer and damaged them immorally. The group is therefore obliged to pay damages. The verdict was a so-called default judgment - the lawyers had not appeared for the trial for unknown reasons. Since VW did not comment on the allegations, the court saw the manipulation of the EA288 engine as proven.
This OLG judgment is now followed by the decision of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court that VW must comment on allegations of manipulation in another EA288 procedure (Az .: I-23 U 159/20). In this case, the judges specifically refer to an internal VW document that was the subject of a hearing before the Ravensburg Regional Court in 2020. According to this document with the title »Decision Template: Application Guidelines & Approval Specifications EA288«, the EA288 has, among other things, software for test cycle detection. This can recognize whether the vehicle is on the test bench or on the road and control the exhaust emissions accordingly. This clearly shows that VW has also manipulated exhaust gas values with this type of engine from the start.
Consumer advocates estimate a judgment of the OLG Düsseldorf against VW as likely. Attorney Helmut Dreschhoff from the BRR consumer law firm Baumeister Rosing: “With this, the judges would set another example in the diesel scandal and increase the chances of the injured vehicle owners to get compensation. Due to the application guideline, VW can no longer simply claim that it has not used any illegal defeat devices. "
Dreschhoff advises all affected vehicle owners with EA288 engines to have claims for damages against the manufacturer checked. "The more victims assert their rights in the VW diesel scandal, the more the company comes under pressure to answer for the manipulation," said the lawyer. “We're also seeing a significant increase in consumer-friendly judgments. Apparently, the courts are becoming more and more convinced of our arguments. Hundreds of thousands of customers drive through the area in a car that has been sold to them as 'clean' - the vehicle emits significantly more harmful emissions than stated on the road. "
The fact that VW has meanwhile started a PR campaign against willing customers and their lawyers is a clear sign for Dreschhoff that VW is getting restless. "The company is now trying to pass the buck on the plaintiffs' attorneys," continues Dreschhoff. “The corporation claims that EA288 lawsuits are not worthwhile because in most cases they were lost. However, the increasing number of consumer-friendly judgments speaks a completely different language here. "
“In addition, the manufacturer tries to conjure up the fearful scenario of a› lawsuit industry ‹like in the USA,” says the lawyer, who is also behind the portal with his law firm, master builder Rosing https://www.diesel-gate.com/ stands. “But it is clearly the 'cheat industry' that has led to the high number of willing buyers. We consumer advocates will not let this clumsy publicity deter us from continuing to stand up for the rights of the injured customers. Already with the EA189 engine, for which it took several years before the BGH ruling in principle, you could see that the persistence ultimately pays off for the consumer. "
Of course that had not been the case.
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