Dieselgate: Baltic customers can also sue – and managers who fail to act may even be personally liable
Helena Rosenberger: Dieselgate: Baltic customers can also sue – and managers who fail to act may even be personally liable
Various German manufacturers have launched cars on the market with engines that are fitted with software to manipulate exhaust gas values during measurement on the test bench. Legal investigation of the scandal continues. The German courts have largely affirmed the liability of the manufacturers and awarded damages to customers that claim. Currently, a test case seeking a declaratory judgment against the VW Group that is pending before the Higher Regional Court in Braunschweig was joined by 430,000 participants. It should be noted that other manufacturers, such as Porsche, Daimler and Audi, have now also been ordered to pay.
Customers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania whose cars are affected also have the option of taking legal action against the manufacturers. Many of their claims are not time-barred. Under the Rome II Regulation, the defendant must normally be sued in the Member State in which it has its domiciled seat. In the case of an action before a German court, the law of the country in which the contract was concluded would still apply.
It is therefore advisable to seek legal advice. This applies in particular to Baltic managing directors. If they fail to assert their existing claims, this may lead to their being held personally liable under certain circumstances.