German court rejects customer's bid to cancel VW purchase

BOCHUM, Germany (Reuters) - A German court has rejected an attempt by a customer to cancel his purchase of a Volkswagen car in the wake of the company’s emissions scandal, saying the dealer was not to blame.

Volkswagen (VW) admitted in September it had fitted illegal software on up to about 11 million cars worldwide that mitigated emissions during tests but stopped doing so on the road.

The plaintiff took legal action against a dealership in Bochum where he bought his Tiguan sport-utility vehicle, saying the manipulations by VW had rendered the model unsellable.

Judge Ingo Streek at the town’s regional court on Wednesday said the defendant could not be accused of a “significant violation of duty” as VW, not the dealer, made the vehicle.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Dietrich Messler, had already said he would appeal any defeat in the case at a higher court.

Europe’s largest automaker is facing a barrage of lawsuits from customers, institutional investors and regulators over the biggest corporate scandal in its history.

U.S. law firm Hausfeld said on Tuesday it would pursue claims of European customers harmed by VW’s wrongdoing, a day after the launch of a 3.26 billion-euro (£2.6 billion) lawsuit by almost 300 institutional investors became public.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter