The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has disappointed the hopes of thousands of lessees in Germany who are demanding compensation from Volkswagen for their manipulated diesel.

In these cases there is no entitlement to reimbursement of the leasing installments paid, decided the seventh civil senate in Karlsruhe.

The Karlsruhe judges overturned an earlier judgment of the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court, which had found the driver of an Audi Q5 with the VW EA 189 scandalous engine right.

In a few months, the OLG will have to negotiate the matter again.

Marcus Jung

Editor in business.

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It had already become clear at the hearing at the beginning of September that the lawsuit, which was directed directly against the automobile manufacturer Audi, had little chance of success anyway.

The federal judges lacked substantial evidence as to whether those responsible for Audi were aware of the fraud at VW.

In the spring, another civil senate had already denied this attribution - the position as a subsidiary alone could not result in any liability.

In the original case, a man from Baden-Württemberg leased an Audi Q5 with the scandalous EA 189 engine in 2009. After the leasing period in 2013, he bought the vehicle. Before the Federal Court of Justice, he asked for the leasing rates back, as well as the purchase price minus the compensation for use. When calculating the benefit sharing, the federal judges did not use the formula that is used to reverse a vehicle purchase. The purchase price and total payment would be "congruent" and therefore offset against each other. In the case of leasing, on the other hand, the use of the vehicle has a fundamentally "period-related value" that can be offset against the leasing rates, according to a statement by the Federal Court of Justice. Anyone who uses their vehicle for the entire leasing periodhas fully realized its advantage in the opinion of the civil senate - then the benefits obtained compensate for the payments to the leasing company, in this case a subsidiary of VW.

"From Volkswagen's point of view, the Federal Court of Justice has rightly ruled that leasing customers are not entitled to any claim for damages," said the group in a statement.

The benefit of using a leasing contract is based on the objective leasing value of the vehicle, specifically the leasing fees.

Any claim for damages would be consumed.

The Federal Court of Justice confirms the prevailing view of the higher court case law, which rejects claims in such cases for lack of damage.

Today's decision to lease affects a four-digit number of vehicles, in addition to the EA189 engines, in particular the procedures with the 3.0l engines.

Meanwhile, consumer advocates point to another possibility to reverse a lease for a manipulated diesel. "Anyone who financed their car purchase with a loan also has a high probability of revoking it today," says attorney Claus Goldenstein from Potsdam. Last week the European Court of Justice strengthened the rights of consumers enormously. According to this, the withdrawal period for "several million loan agreements" has not yet occurred due to insufficient information in the agreements, claims Goldenstein. (Ref .: VII ZR 192/20)

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