The government of Germany is, in principle, open to the idea of class action lawsuits against the auto manufacturers involved in the diesel emissions cheating scandal, a spokesperson for the country’s Transport Ministry has revealed.
“We are in principle open to instruments like class action lawsuits,” the spokesperson stated.
The announcement came ahead of today’s meeting between federal government representatives, state government representatives, and representatives of the large auto manufacturers. The meeting’s aim, reportedly, is to “discuss ways to avoid diesel (car) bans.”
That’s something that it may well be too late to do, judging on recent news from Stuttgart. As reported by Reuters: “But a court on Friday backed a legal bid by German environmental group DUH to ban diesel cars from Stuttgart, which is home to carmakers Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and auto suppliers Bosch and Mahle.”
“The court ruling said retrofitting diesel cars with new software would not be sufficient to ensure Stuttgart meets emissions standards as soon as possible. DUH, which is pushing for carmakers to be forced to replace emission control systems, said it felt validated by the court decision and expected action at this week’s summit.”
“We will not be fobbed off with a half-baked proposal,” stated DUH head Juergen Resch. “We will make use of all available legal possibilities.”
This includes, of course, possibilities such as class action lawsuits against the auto manufacturers. Despite the comments quoted above, from a spokesperson for the German Transport Ministry, it’s not clear what the government will actually do if class action suits are pursued. It should be interesting.