Tuesday, November 12, 2019
The Stuttgart Regional Court already doubts it should be done this summer – and it is true: the wave of diesel proceedings against Daimler is on the rise. However, the outcome of the negotiations is quite one-sided.
At Daimler's carmaker's headquarters in Stuttgart, the flow of diesel lawsuits against the corporation does not stop. Since the district court's inception there are now about 1,400 lawsuits filed by car owners, Daimler has accused of using illegal exhaust technology, a spokeswoman said on request. In the third quarter alone, 600 new ones were added. "Diesel processes continue to increase dramatically and there is no sign of any relief," said court president Andreas Singer.
Although Stuttgart as a Daimler home is likely to have to deal with most complaints, this usually refers to the demand for damages. Depending on the case, other courts may consider.
According to Daimler himself, German courts have meanwhile ruled in more than 850 cases – mostly in terms of the carmaker. There were 776 cases in the district court and 56 resolved against the group, a Daimler spokesman said. Against this 56 somebody has complained or will do so. At the level of the higher regional courts, 21 decisions have been reached so far, not one against Daimler. The total number of lawsuits in all German courts does not name the group.
The carmaker denies that the built-in features of Mercedes-Benz emissions control vehicles are inadmissible. Authorities see it differently and have already imposed several Daimler withdrawals with hundreds of thousands of cars hit. The carmaker comes after these reminders, but also opposed it. Supreme court decisions still do not exist. At the Stuttgart Regional Court, 22 cases are scheduled for trial this Wednesday.
"We urgently need reinforcement"
In addition to emission control, there are a number of lawsuits, but also conditions for deduction in lending or leasing agreements to the target. Since the beginning of the year, some 400 such cases have been filed in Stuttgart District Court – and there are many behind the idea of getting rid of a diesel vehicle without sacrificing financial losses. Nationwide, there have been 660 solutions so far, 99 percent of which are Daimler, the company said.
In all, the judges from Stuttgart received new civil proceedings on the benches only in October 1127. That's a good quarter more than in October 2018, when the number of diesel suits against VW increased significantly. If one takes the signals from the legal profession seriously, the court must adjust to a one-year structural burden, Singer warned. "We urgently need reinforcements."