The class action was made possible after the German cabinet approved a draft law in May that will allow consumer protection organisations to litigate on behalf of the consumers they represent, avoiding the high legal costs that might otherwise put people off bringing legal action.
Vzbv said it would aim to show that owners of VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat cars with so-called type EA 189 diesel engines had been intentionally harmed by the Volkswagen's use of software that was used to cheat emissions tests
Vzbv said it wanted to get compensation for some 2 million owners of diesel cars that were not as environmentally friendly as VW said they were at the time of purchase.
VW admitted in 2015 it had used illegal engine control devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests.
Nearly all U.S. owners of affected cars agreed to take part in a $25 billion settlement in 2016 in the United States that addressed claims from them, environmental regulators, U.S. states and dealers and included buyback offers and additional compensation for about 500,000 owners.
VW had rejected criticism that the compensation for U.S. car owners was not extended to other jurisdictions.
Information for motorists on how to join the German action is due to be posted on https://www.musterfeststellungsklagen.de.
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