Tiguan owner sues VW dealership over emissions scandal

The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is seen on a wheel at a showroom of Swiss car importer AMAG in Duebendorf, Switzerland February 12, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

BOCHUM, Germany (Reuters) - A Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE car owner sued a German VW dealership on Wednesday, demanding the seller cancel the contract and take back his Tiguan diesel compact car, one of the models affected by the automaker's emissions test cheating scandal.

A lawyer for the plaintiff, a history professor, said his client’s car would be impossible to resell given the scandal and the 19,700 kilometers (12,241 miles) it had on the clock.

“This shows that the breach (of duty by the dealer) is material,” Dietrich Messeler told the district court of Bochum in North Rhine-Westphalia, in what is believed to be the first case of a private owner suing for compensation over the scandal in Germany.

Judge Ingo Streek said his opinion was the owner could still drive his car, even though his conscience may be troubled by its impact on the environment.

“I come to the conclusion that the breach of duty is not so material that it must lead to a return,” he said.

The owner and the dealership will now try to settle the case. If they do not succeed, Streek will rule on March 16.

Messeler said that if his client lost the case, he would appeal it.

VW faces more than 500 lawsuits in the United States over excess emissions in 580,000 diesel vehicles. It faces litigation filed by owners, including some who want VW to buy back vehicles, and auto dealers.

The carmaker has said it is considering buybacks in the United States.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Mark Potter