Dieselgate compensation for Czech drivers

20 June 2019

Dieselgate compensation for Czech drivers

20 June 2019

A Prague district council has granted a number of Czech drivers of Skoda and Volkswagen vehicles compensation amounting to 533 million Czech Koruna (€20.8 million) in relation to Dieselgate.

‘This is a breakthrough in the European branch of this affair, it is the first success for consumers impacted in Europe’

The case was brought against the carmakers by Safe Diesel on behalf of 2,435 people – using a similar model for compensation as the US did during the country’s Dieselgate prosecutions.

Each claimant is set to receive 220,000 Czech Koruna (€8,500) in compensation for the so-called ‘clinker engines’ – the number is set to be consistent with the US compensation model.

‘This is a breakthrough in the European branch of this affair, it is the first success for consumers impacted in Europe,’ said František Honsa from BBH, a law firm that provides legal services to Safe Diesel.

‘We have succeeded in enforcing the same compensation as in the US, which we want to achieve for thousands of consumers whose claims we have filed at court or will be filed later,’ he continued.

VW has paid upwards of €27 billion in compensation for its part in the Dieselgate scandal already – but seems keen to fight against claims made by Czech drivers.

‘We consider the judgments to be defective in law and will appeal against them,’ a VW spokesman said.

VW is paying the compensation thus far as Skoda’s position as part of the case has yet to be determined. The company has rejected the notion that owners of affected vehicles were damaged by any emissions cheating.

‘The judgment does not apply to claims against Skoda Auto, which does not recognize the claims of Safe Diesel,’ said Jiří Hrabovský from the Ewing Group communication group.

Ongoing proceedings

According to Safe Diesel, the 2,435 owners compensated is a good start, but that more than 7,000 people have been impacted by the crisis.

They added that more than 165,000 vehicles have been affected by the emissions scandal, which could lead to compensation amounting to more than 37 billion Czech Koruna (€1.44 billion).