VW Suffers Another Huge Blow Over Dieselgate

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Five years on, the dieselgate scandal is still haunting VW.

It's now been five years since the notorious VW dieselgate scandal rocked the auto industry and caused serious damage to the German carmaker's reputation. The automaker has faced huge fines and criminal prosecutions over the scandal after being found guilty of manipulating software in 11 million diesel-powered vehicles including the Golf, Passat, and Jetta to pass emissions regulations tests.

Volkswagen wants you to forget the dieselgate scandal ever happened by rebranding itself as a leading electric car company with the recent launch of the ID.3 hatchback and the upcoming ID.4 crossover EVs. But dieselgate refuses to go away and has come back to haunt the carmaker once again.

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In a landmark ruling, Germany's highest civil court has ruled that Volkswagen must pay compensation to the owner of a diesel-powered VW minivan that was fitted with the emissions-cheating software. It's another blow for VW as this means that thousands of German VW owners will now be able to claim compensation. Currently, there are still around 60,000 lawsuits pending in Germany. This is in addition to a separate €830 million ($909 million) settlement VW was forced to pay in a class-action lawsuit involving 235,000 German car owners.

VW says it will offer affected owners a one-off payment, but the amount of compensation will depend on individual cases based on factors such as the number of miles covered in the affected vehicle.

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"For the majority of the 60,000 pending cases, this ruling provides clarity as to how the [Federal Court of Justice] assesses essential questions in German diesel proceedings," Volkswagen said in a statement. "Volkswagen is now seeking to bring these proceedings to a prompt conclusion in agreement with the plaintiffs. We will therefore approach the plaintiffs with the adequate settlement proposals." Outside of Germany, there are more than 100,000 lawsuits against VW still pending, 90,000 of which are in the UK.

Since the scandal hit headlines in 2015, VW has already paid more than €30 billion ($32 billion) in fines, compensation and buyback schemes. Clearly, the repercussions aren't going to end for VW any time soon.

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