The Federal Court of Justice has once again strengthened buyers’ rights in the emissions scandal. In a decision of January 24, 2021 (Az. VI a ZR 100/21), the Federal Court of Justice affirmed that the buyer of the vehicle affected by the diesel scandal deserves “minimal damages.” In addition, BGH clarified the criteria for calculating damage in the event that the vehicle has already exceeded the estimated total mileage in its decision.
BGH has determined that buyers of a vehicle affected by a diesel scandal can claim “small damage” even if the total estimated mileage is exceeded. When calculating the small amount of compensation, the buyer must allow the value of the uses to be restricted to the extent that the value of the uses exceeds the value of the vehicle at the time of the conclusion of the contract.
What does that mean specifically?
First of all, the small compensation amount must be calculated. Here, the courts regularly estimate damage at 15% or 20% of the purchase price. In the second step, according to the last judgment of BGH, the value by which the interest withdrawn exceeds the value of the vehicle at the time of purchase must be calculated. If the use exceeds the value of the vehicle, the excess value will be offset against the compensation. For a vehicle whose total mileage is estimated at 250,000 km, but already has 275,000 km on the odometer, the amount of compensation, which is set at 20% of the total purchase price, is to reduce the use compensation for the “more” 25,000 km it has driven.
Latest BGH case law in numbers:
Example: the purchase price is 55,000 euros
“Small damage” (20% of the purchase price): €11,000
Vehicle value at the time of purchase: €44.000
Estimated total mileage: 250,000 km
Mileage upon purchase: 0 km
Current mileage: 275,000 km
Replacement value for total mileage: €48,400
The difference between the value of the car and the benefits withdrawn: 4,400 euros
Remaining damages: €11,000 – €4,400 = €6,600
Calculate the potential amount of damage yourself according to the current BGH decision. Here is our damage calculator. You will receive the difference between the value of the vehicle and the benefits withdrawn if you enter the value of the vehicle reduced by 20% in the Damage Calculator instead of the purchase price.
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