German court overloaded with Daimler #dieselgate lawsuits

File picture: Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters.

File picture: Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters.

Published Jul 31, 2019


The Stuttgart Regional Court was struggling to cope with the wave of "diesel lawsuits" against Mercedes parent company Daimler, the court president said on Monday.

"We are faced with a huge challenge, the extent of which we cannot yet conclusively assess," commented Andreas Singer, president of the court of first instance responsible for all actions brought against the Daimler Group, which is headquartered in Stuttgart. 

"But it is clear that we urgently need reinforcement for a structural additional burden for years to come," he added. 

In the first half of 2019, the court had received 1100 cases against Daimler where the claim was either illegal exhaust technology or errors in the terms of the revocation of credit agreements, according to Singer. 

Most of the cases aimed at returning a Mercedes-benz diesel car without financial losses in view of existing or imminent driving bans, he noted. 

Daimler emphasised that the company takes customer lawsuits seriously in principle but would defend itself if "unfounded" claims were asserted.

Back in June, Daimler was sentenced before the Landshut Regional Court to take back a diesel car for exhaust gas manipulation. The Landshut court ruled that the buyer was deceived in an immoral manner because the nitrous oxide limit value was based on test bench observations but not real driving on the road. Daimler described the ruling as "incomprehensible" and announced to appeal to the Higher Regional Court (OLG). 

At OLG level, five decisions had so far been in Daimler's favor while a total of 167 lawsuits by Mercedes diesel owners had been dismissed. The measures related to the diesel vehicles had increased Daimler's expenses by around 1.6 billion euros  in the second half of the year, according to the German carmaker. 


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