As expected following discussions and various proposals over the last two years, as one of its first actions, the new German Government has approved a new Model Declaratory Action to protect consumers and specifically to give Volkswagen car owners a collective option before expiry of the statute of limitations.
This decision just comes shortly after the EU Commission’s New Deal for Consumers including a similar proposal on the European level.
Many questions are, however, still open as regards both proposals, and experiences are mixed at best with the collective action by shareholders- the KapMuG proceedings which Germany also adopted in view of a specific case, Deutsche Telekom in 2005.
In any event, it is clear that the European litigation landscape is dramatically changing even though all proposals in the table distinctively draw a line to anything coming too close of US style class actions.
Germany has approved draft legislation to allow US-style class action lawsuits in the country that should give consumers the power to seek compensation following Volkswagen’s diesel emission scandal.