- The New York Times
ROME — An Italian consumer group said on Wednesday it had presented a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen, accusing the company of deceiving car owners and potentially harming the environment.
Marco Ramadori, co-president of the Codacons association, told Reuters the case had been lodged with a court in Venice, whose catchment area covers the city of Verona, where Volkswagen has its Italian headquarters.
There was no immediate comment from the German carmaker.
Europe’s largest carmaker has admitted to using software to rig diesel emissions tests in the United States. Germany’s transport minister says it also manipulated tests in Europe, where it sells about 40 percent of its vehicles.
Codacons said it was initially representing one Volkswagen owner, but indicated it did not have high expectations that any class action litigation in Italy would generate massive fines.
“The class action law in Italy is a swindle and has nothing to do with the real class action (cases) that you see in the United States, which, first and foremost, inflict punitive damages that have a concrete dissuasive effect,” Ramadori said.
If the court decides that the case is admissible, all Volkswagen owners in Italy impacted by the scandal will be able to sign up to the law suit for free.
Ramadori said he had no idea when the Venice tribunal might make a ruling.
(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei; Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
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