Top German court hears latest lawsuits in VW diesel scandal

Two new lawsuits from Volkswagen customers arrived at Germany's top court for civil proceedings on Tuesday, months after a landmark ruling paved the way for the carmaker to pay out damages to customers in its home market.

As dpa reminded, the Federal Court of Justice on 25 May found in favour of a duped car owner, setting a precedent in Volkswagen's long-running legal woes by stating that the auto giant had knowingly tricked consumers. However, several details in that landmark ruling remain unclear and lower courts have issued varying verdicts on damages claims.

The two latest plaintiffs were turned away empty-handed from a district court in the city of Braunschweig and have now taken their claims to the top court in Karlsruhe.

In one case, the court ruled that the customer had driven so many miles with his vehicle that he was no longer entitled to compensation. In the other, the customer was found to not be entitled to damages because he took up the offer of a software update designed to rectify the issue.

In September 2015, it emerged Volkswagen had been fitting its diesel vehicles with technology designed to cheat environmental standards testing, in a scandal that rocked the company and the wider industry.

Volkswagen Group agreed in April to pay out up to €830m ($950.7m) to 235,000 car owners in Germany to avoid facing a class-action lawsuit. But tens of thousands of consumers rejected the offer.

The court could issue rulings on Tuesday or at a later date.

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