False exhaust emissions data may raise defect claims. What you should know in order to secure your rights.
The scandal about false emission data is spreading ever further: Group CEO Winterkorn has resigned and it seems that thousands of cars in Europe are also affected. Probably, this also applies to Audi model lines, which are equipped with similar engines. According to an investigation by ADAC and ICCT, Volvo, Renault, Hyundai and Opel cars may also have been manipulated.
Against this background, it will be interesting to clarify what rights the buyers of affected cars are entitled to. Possible options include a reduction in the purchase price, damages or even dissolution of the contract.
Defect claims such as repair, price reduction or even withdrawal from the contract depend on whether the cars should be seen as “defective” in a legal sense. Currently, this is still unclear.
A defect could at least exist if not only the emission data but also data about fuel consumption should prove to be false. This will become clear within the coming weeks and months.
Dissolution by way of rescission might in general be possible. But the buyer must prove that, on the one hand, the seller deliberately lied with regard to the exhaust data. On the other hand, the buyer’s misconception must have been causal for the intention to buy. This seems unlikely, because when buying a car most people do not find the ecotest decisive but rather other aspects such as space, design, speed and fuel consumption.
bnt attorneys-at-law are already advising clients about what to do in case of recall campaigns and what steps to take in advance in order to secure and enforce their rights.