German consumer body to present class action against VW

The logo of Volkswagen is seen at their plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s consumer protection association and auto club ADAC will on Wednesday present a class action against Volkswagen over the carmaker’s manipulation of emissions software.

The association, known as vzbv, said on Tuesday it wants to get compensation for some two million owners of Volkswagen diesel cars that are not as environmentally friendly as the company said they are at the time of purchase.

The class action was made possible after the German cabinet approved a draft law in May that to make it easier for people to join a legal test case, avoiding high costs that might otherwise put them off bringing legal action.

Under the new law, owners of cars with illegal software are allowed to claim damages only until the end of 2018.

VW, which in 2015 admitted it had used illegal software to cheat U.S. emissions tests, said after the draft law was approved that it believes the claims against it in Germany are unjustified, and it expects the majority of them to be rejected.

(This refiled version of the story fixes association acronym to vzbv not vzbz.)

Reporting by Hans-Edzard Busemann; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Joseph Nasr and David Evans