(Reuters) - A female motorist from Cologne has filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen, accusing the company of deceiving car owners by rigging diesel emissions tests, law firm Jordan Fuhr Meyer said on Wednesday.
The woman, who lodged her claim for damages with Braunschweig district court, is the first known German to sue Volkswagen for damages after the car maker admitted to using software to rig diesel emissions tests in the United States.
A letter from Volkswagen sent to German lawmakers on Tuesday said that 8 million diesel vehicles in the European Union were fitted with software capable of cheating vehicle emissions tests.
The plaintiff said low emissions had been a “deciding factor” when she bought her VW Sharan with a 2.0 TDI engine in 2010 for 42,000 euros, and is calling for the purchase to be cancelled.
Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said in an interview with a German newspaper that the company would launch a recall for cars affected by its diesel emissions crisis in January and complete the fix by the end of next year.
But Sascha Conradi, a lawyer at Jordan Fuhr Meyer, said repair would not be sufficient and that the woman feared a refit would hamper engine performance, acceleration, top speed and other important aspects of the vehicle.
“The further use of a vehicle that does not have low emissions is unacceptable for the plaintiff,” Conradi said.
A spokesman for Volkswagen said he could not comment at present as he did not have knowledge of the case.