Handelsblatt Exclusive

Europe Next in Dieselgate Battle

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Michael D. Hausfeld, one of the country's top civil litigators, and Chairman of Hausfeld, April 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. Hausfeld, has been appointed to serve on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in the landmark litigation to hold Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi accountable to consumers for developing and marketing so-called clean diesel vehicles. He was recently named among the Top Ten Innovative Lawyers in North America. (Photo by Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)
Lawyer Michael Hausfeld is at the heart of the dispute over VW's cars.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Calls for Volkswagen to compensate consumers in Europe as generously as in the United States could prove highly expensive for the carmaker.

  • Facts


    • Volkswagen has reached a deal with U.S. regulators on fixing manipulated 2-liter cars but must submit an adjusted proposal this Thursday for its 3-liter models.
    • VW will pay compensation to customers in the United States who bought manipulated cars but there is no such agreement in Europe.
    • So far, VW has set aside €18 billion to cover the costs of Dieselgate but it is unclear what will be the final cost of the emissions-rigging scandal.
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Volkswagen will still face a wave of lawsuits forcing the carmaker to own up to its liabilities in Europe in the aftermath of the diesel emissions scandal, according to a top U.S. lawyer.

In an interview with Handelsblatt, Michael Hausfeld, who represents VW car owners on both sides of the Atlantic with his firm Hausfeld LLP, accused the German carmaker of still failing to come clean with authorities and predicted a series of lawsuits in Germany. He wouldn’t offer a timeline, but suggested it would likely come after all U.S. negotiations are completed.

“I think that’s going to be the next battleground. I think you’re going to have many lawsuits filed in Germany,” he told Handelsblatt. “The German judiciary is going to determine whether there was unlawful conduct engaged in by Volkswagen and how to deal with the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, if not millions of claimants that were affected by that unlawful conduct.”

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