Swiss consumer protection organisation files claim on Volkswagen and AMAG over dieselgate scandal

Both Volkswagen and AMAG have said, prima facie, there was no grounds for the complaint since, industry experts had not been able to establish any significant loss of value for VW diesel vehicles on the Swiss market.

In yet another blow to Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest automaker, SKS, a Swiss consumer protection organization has filed a claim on behalf of nearly 6,000 car owners seeking damages from the company and AMAG, its Swiss car dealer, over its emission scandal.

SKS filed the complaint with Zurich’s commercial court.

In its complaint SKS said, assuming damages of 15%, on average, of the initial retail price of the vehicles concerned and along with the insurance companies which is supporting its legal action, it wants the court to give the Swiss owners of VW’s cars, the possibility of enforce their rights without disproportionate financial risk.

“The cars sold as environmentally friendly were overpriced from the beginning. Due to the manipulation of the exhaust system, they then lost even more of their value on the secondary market,” said SKS (Stiftung fuer Konsumentenschutz) in a statement on Friday.

On a cautious note, VW said it would examine the complaint closely and said prima facie there was no case since industry experts had not been able to establish any significant loss of value for VW diesel vehicles on the Swiss market.

“The trust and satisfaction of our customers are extremely important to us. However, we are of the opinion that there are no legal grounds for claims connected with the diesel issue,” said VW in a statement.

Significantly, 98% of the 173,000 affected vehicles in Switzerland have already been refitted, at no cost to owners, said VW.

Echoing the same line of argument, AMAG, which imports VW’s cars into the country, said it did not understand why SKS filed the claim since the prices of VW’s diesel cars on the secondary market were at least on the same level if not even higher than those of competing models.

Furthermore, it stated it had not acted, with the intention of willfully deceiving customers.

Incidentally, earlier in December 2017, Germany’s highest court had rejected VW’s bid to suspend the work of a special auditor to investigate the company’s management actions in the emissions scandal.

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