A German court has dismissed a Volkswagen customer's plea to cancel the purchase of his vehicle, which was affected by the carmaker's cheating software. It's a welcome win for VW but, as David Pollard reports, new car sales show the German auto maker is lagging rivals.
It was the Volkswagen emissions scandal that brought them to court. But it was a car dealer in the dock. One of his customers claiming he wanted his money back for being sold a Tiguan SUV fitted with cheat software. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BOCHUM DISTRICT COURT SPOKESMAN, MICHAEL REHAAG, SAYING: "The court dismissed the plea saying the car's defects were not significant. They could easily be removed at a cost of less than 1 per cent of the purchase price. And the sales contract was made with the dealer and he is not at fault." VW are at fault over the emissions scandal though. They've admitted as much and are facing a number of lawsuits far bigger than this latest one. It's all having a negative impact on sales. VW's new registrations were up 4.4 % in February. But compare that with Ford, Peugeot and Opel Vauxhall and VW has a problem. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF G10 FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "Whether this constant drip of negative headlines in terms of the legal woes of the company will continue to weigh on consumer spending habits or spending patterns is going to be the moot point. But I think the problem for the company is definitely one of the slew of negativity weighing or potentially weighing on the way the consumers are viewing the company and the products of the company." New car sales in Europe overall were up 14%. Luxury nameplates fared as well as the mass market makers. That's good news for a region still firmly in the recovery phase. And VW's not there yet. The customer in this case is planning an appeal. And law firms in America and Germany are also pursuing claims on behalf of customers and investors.