Friday, 22 January 2016

Quick update: VW

The Foundation "Volkswagen Car Claim" that was established in the Netherlands on the initiative of the Austrian consumer association VKI (Verein für Konsumenteninformation) has collected a total of 60.000 European consumers as of now. This sum is claimed to be far less than the total amount of people who were potentially harmed. Given that there are no legal options to claim collective damage in Germany and Austria, also many German and Austrian consumers have joined this claim. As an important element of the Dutch Collective Settlement Act the respondent - VW - needs to deliberately join the negotiations though.

This international case renders the differences between European and American means of collective redress once more very obvious. The different threat values of the respective legal means (or the lack thereof) may result in very different treatments of consumers (see for one assessment: here).

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