EU court advisers say car owners have a right to a defeated device

An adviser to the European Union’s top court has said that owners of vehicles equipped with emission loss devices have a right to compensation from car manufacturers.

A lawsuit was filed against the buyer of a used Mercedes C220 CDI against Mercedes-Benz. When the car is used in cold temperatures, the gas reflow system decreases, nitrogen oxide emissions increase. A court in Regensburg, Germany has “temporarily established” that it constituted an instrument of illegal defeat. Auto News Report

Read more: Allegations of diesel emissions fraud against Mercedes, five times more than the actual statistics report

Athanasius Rantos, Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, suggested that the court should protect the interests of an individual buyer of a motor vehicle. Rantos also proposed EU law that would require member states to grant a car buyer the right to compensation from a car manufacturer with a defeat device.

In Regensburg’s case, Rantos said it was up to the regional court to determine how much offset the actual use of the motor vehicle would provide adequate compensation for the buyer as opposed to the redemption of the purchase price of the car. He added that it was the responsibility of EU member states to define rules on how to properly calculate compensation and that compensation must be “consistent with the loss or damage.”

German lawyer Klaus Goldenstein said the resolution meant companies’ negligent behavior could be considered when making such claims. Goldenstein represents 42,500 clients interested in court cases.

Mercedes-Benz noted that it remains to be seen how the court will rule in this particular case and said that the opinion of the adviser is not binding.

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