Vienna (AFP) – A Vienna court has ordered a car dealer to reimburse a customer who bought a Volkswagen car because it was fitted with software designed to cheat emissions tests, the buyer’s lawyers said Thursday.
“If the plaintiff had known that software designed to cheat emissions tests had been installed on the vehicle concerned, she wouldn’t have bought it,” the Commercial Court said, according to part of the ruling cited by the Poduschka law firm, who represented the customer.
The judgement will mean that the car dealer will have to take back the vehicle, bought for 26,500 euros ($31,300) in 2012, and to pay out a refund with interest totalling 29,000 euros.
Porsche Holding, Volkswagen’s distributor in Austria, said it would help the dealer appeal the verdict.
A spokesman for the company called the judgment “legally misguided in every respect” and maintained there was no basis for cancelling the sales contract as the vehicle was still roadworthy and safe.
The plaintiff’s lawyers said the judgement was the most favourable decision from the Austrian courts to date for a car buyer.
In autumn 2015 Volkswagen admitted that it had equipped 11 million of its diesel vehicles with software capable of falsifying the results of anti-pollution tests and covering up emissions up to 40 times over authorised limits.
The scandal has already cost the car giant more than 21 billion euros ($25 billion) in vehicle recalls and legal cases. Several other car manufacturers have since also been investigated over similar practices.