FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Consumer representatives and the auto giant Volkswagen blamed each other on Friday for a collapse in talks on an agreement for 400,000 German customers in the company’s dieselgate emissions scandal.
VW took the first blow, saying it had offered 830 million euros ($ 900 million) to the VZBV consumer organization, but that the “disproportionate” demands of its lawyers had torpedoed the agreement.
In a statement, the large group of 12 brands later said it would “offer registered customers as part of the massive lawsuit … the agreement negotiated without the support of the VZBV.”
For his part, the director of VZBV, Klaus Mueller, told reporters in Berlin that the talks “failed due to the lack of opening of VW to allow a transparent, reliable and secure system” to pay the cash.
“In no way can we support an agreement that is unreliable or has consequences that are impossible to predict for consumers,” he added.
Mass demand is one of the biggest legal hangovers of VW’s admission in 2015 to equip 11 million vehicles worldwide with software to make engines appear less polluting in regulatory tests than in real driving conditions.
While American diesel buyers have enjoyed generous buy-back and compensation plans, German drivers have so far not been compensated for the impact of the scandal, which has since been extended to other automakers.
Some 400,000 owners had gathered behind the VZBV in the first grouped procedure of its kind, which opened last September.
Around 70,000 people also have open lawsuits against VW, while 55,000 cases have been resolved or resolved in court.
“We will continue the court case with all our strength,” Mueller said, adding that “it puzzles me that VW interrupted the talks this way today.”
30 billion euros
Volkswagen said in an online ad that it was ready to pay between 1,350 and 6,257 euros per vehicle, depending on the model and age, provided it was purchased before January 1, 2016, with the German resident buyer and still in possession of Car.
So far, the consequences of diesel traps have cost VW more than 30 billion euros worldwide in legal costs, fines and compensation, mostly in the United States.
The authorities’ response was slower and less painful in Germany, with VW and subsidiaries Audi and Porsche paying a total of 2.3 billion euros in fines in the group’s country of origin.
Meanwhile, the company’s efforts to polish its image have led bosses to turn sharply to offer many more electric vehicles in the coming years than previously planned.
VW shares fell on Friday, but losses were limited because investors thought that any final agreement with German drivers would be only a small fraction of dieselgate’s total costs so far.
Shares closed at 170.46 euros on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Friday, 1.2 percent, clearly below the DAX blue chip index.
In addition to car owners, investors have also launched massive lawsuits related to “dieselgate.”
They demand compensation for the loss of value of VW shares immediately after the scandal broke out.