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VW Drivers May Struggle to Win Damages as Court Queries Losses

  • Judges question whether diesel car-owners really lost money
  • Lawsuit was aimed to help consumers get swift results
VW Chief Winterkorn Steps Down After Diesel Emissions Scandal

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The 470,000 diesel-car owners who signed up for a case against Volkswagen AG may face an uphill struggle after a German court questioned whether they really lost anything because of the emission-cheating software in their automobiles.

Drivers have been able to use their cars, leaving “the central issue” of what they actually lost, Presiding Judge Michael Neef said Monday, the first day of hearings. The court will also review whether any loss in value was solely linked to vehicle bans that came only two years after the diesel scandal broke. Even if the court finds damages, claims may be lowered because of drivers’ continued use of their cars over time, he said.