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$38 Billion and Counting

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April 20, 2021

Germany’s highest civil court, The Federal Court of Justice, has ruled that Volkswagen must fully compensate customers who took out loans to buy diesel cars that were discovered to be fitted with devices to cheat emissions tests. “The buyer must be provided for as if the purchase had not happened,” the judge said. He dismissed Volkswagen’s appeal of a lower court verdict and said the carmaker has to pay 3,300 euros ($3,926) to a customer who bought one of its diesel cars in 2013, including interest payments on the loan. The plaintiff bought a used VW with a loan from VW Bank, a subsidiary. After the diesel scandal emerged, she returned the car and claimed damages. Volkswagen has so far incurred more than $38 billion in costs as a result of the scandal.

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