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Emissions scandal 2,000 Swiss Volkswagen owners opt for legal action

Around 180,000 "offending" cars in Switzerland could be recalled for removing rigged software

(Keystone)

Between 1,500 and 2,000 owners of Volkswagen cars have filed legal complaints against the German automotive giant, according to the Swiss Attorney General’s Office. However, it is unlikely they will receive financial compensation. 

The Attorney General’s Office is coordinating the multiple complaints related to the emissions rigging scandal. The dossier comprising all the complaints will be forwarded to the German Braunschweig public prosecutor that is investigating the scandal. 

“Our German colleagues have already opened a similar procedure,” André Marty, spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office, told Swiss public television, SRF, on Monday. 

He also added that the chances of Swiss car owners receiving compensation was slim compared to American ones, due to difference in legal systems. In the US, Volkswagen offered its aggrieved customers $1,000 (CHF1,019) vouchers and a similar option is being considered for the Audi brand as well. 

In Switzerland, approximately 180,000 vehicles are equipped emission rigging software, according to the Federal Roads Office. Swiss consumer protection groups are currently working on a compensation agreement with AMAG, the country’s largest importer of Volkswagen cars. 

Slow recall

 In January, the German roads authority KBA approved in principle the measures proposed by Volkswagen for the recall of vehicles that benefited from modifications masking actual emission levels. But before the recall can begin, measures specific to each vehicle will have to be approved separately. 

This process is expected to be completed by autumn 2016. All owners of “offending” cars have to register their vehicles with the Swiss importer AMAG or their local dealer so that they can be informed in advance of the recall campaign.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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