Corporate misconduct on the part of Volkswagen has caused substantial harm to its customers and to the environment. Volkswagen has accepted responsibility for its misconduct to owners and lessees in the United States but has yet to do so in Europe.
In the United States, Volkswagen and related companies agreed to pay more than $25 billion in total for claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers. Additionally, Volkswagen offered to buy back about 500,000 affected vehicles. The harm to customers in Europe is significantly greater, as the scandal regarding the EA 189 engines alone affects 8.5 million vehicles sold here as opposed to 500,000 sold in the United States. Yet exactly here Volkswagen has not offered any compensation or buyback option. Instead, it has continued putting cars with defeat devices on the market and continues to deny the existence of defeat devices in these vehicles
The Diesel Emissions Justice Foundation has initiated legal action to hold Volkswagen AG and related companies accountable for this scandal on behalf of affected European car owners and lessees and obtain adequate compensation for them. The goal of this foundation is to prevent consumers and professional users of Volkswagen vehicles from bearing the cost of this scandal and to protect the environment. It is clear that Volkswagen installed defeat devices on these vehicles to make them appear compliant with Euro 5 and Euro 6 regulations. However, the vehicles did not and still do not meet the standards to register and sell these vehicles in Belgium and across Europe.
As a Dutch foundation, acting on your behalf, we have initiated collective proceedings with the aim to achieve a fair and acceptable solution for all Europeans prejudiced in the form of a Court decision or a collective settlement. This solution may involve reimbursement of a percentage of the purchase price, substitution of your vehicle with a new vehicle, compensation for depreciation of the vehicle and other damages, removal of the defeat device software and compensation of the expenses to pursue your claims.
In addition, we have retained counsel in Belgium and in various countries across the European Union in order to be able to defend the interests of Europeans prejudiced in their own jurisdictions, should this be required. This allows the foundation to act on a larger scale than any other claim-initiative in connection with the diesel emission fraud. By rolling out a litigation strategy in multiple European countries, we will be able to exercise unprecedented pressure on the car manufacturers.
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