A German court has ruled in favor of an environmental NGO’s lawsuit against Volkswagen [VOW:GR] (VW), alleging that the carmaker illegally released cars with software that manipulated emissions mechanisms, as reported by Reuters on February 20. The NGO, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), has called for the recall of VW Golf vehicles due to the software manipulation. The ruling specifically concerns software installed by VW to control the recirculation of exhaust gases, which EU courts have deemed illegal under certain conditions but VW views as in line with the law.The DUH is also planning further cases against carmakers including BMW [BMW:GR], and Mercedes-Benz [DAI:GR] vehicles, which, if successful, could mean up to 10 million authorized cars would need to be recalled.
This is not the first time that VW has been found to have installed software that cheated emissions tests. The Volkswagen emissions scandal broke in 2015, after VW admitted to installing software in 11 million diesel cars worldwide that enabled them to cheat emissions tests. The company was fined billions of dollars, and a number of executives were charged with criminal offences. VW has since claimed to have cleaned up its act and has focused on developing electric and hybrid vehicles, but this latest ruling is a reminder that the company is still facing legal and reputational challenges related to its past misdeeds.