Volkswagen clocks up another dieselgate defeat

NEW DELHI: Germany’s highest civil court has ruled that Volkswagen must compensate customers who took out loans to buy vehicles involved in the carmaker’s dieselgate scandal.
But what is dieselgate and what is its legacy?
The scandal
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered in 2015 that many Volkswagen diesel cars being sold in the United States had software that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance to improve emissions results.
Volkswagen admitted to using the illegal software, known as a “defeat device”, to rig diesel engine tests and said that 11 million vehicles worldwide were involved.
What happened next?
The admission kicked off one of Germany’s biggest corporate crisis.
VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned within days of the company being publicly named and shamed by the EPA and said his departure cleared the way for a “fresh start”.
The scandal has so far cost the company nearly $40 billion in vehicle refits, fines and provisions for future legal claims.
Nearly all US owners of affected cars agreed in 2016 to take part in a $25 billion settlement in the United States.
Volkswagen no longer sells diesel engines in the United States.
End of the road?
There appears to be plenty of mileage still to negotiate after the European Union‘s top court ruled last year that consumers in the bloc should be able to sue Volkswagen in their national courts if they had bought cars with emission cheat devices installed.
That verdict raises the possibility of masses of legal complaints.
What about former executives?
Volkswagen is seeking damages from Winterkorn and former Audi boss Rupert Stadler over the scandal, arguing that they had breached their duty of care.
Winterkorn and Stadler have both denied being responsible for the scandal.

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