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Volkswagen must repay customers who took loans on diesel car, says court

Volkswagen should fully compensate consumers who took out loans to purchase diesel cars that were found to be fitted with defeat devices to cheat emissions tests, a German court has ruled.

The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, Germany on Tuesday rejected the German automaker’s appeal and said it has to pay 3,300 euros ($3,926) to a customer who purchased one of its diesel cars in 2013, including interest payments on the loan.

“The buyer must be provided for as if the purchase had not happened,” said judge Stephan Seiters.

The case at Germany’s highest civil court is among the many court battles involving the automaker as it seeks to draw a line under the 2015 emissions cheating scandal.

Volkswagen has so far incurred more than 32 billion euros ($38 billion) in costs due to the scandal.

Tuesday’s case was brought by a customer who bought a used VW Golf with a loan from VW Bank, a subsidiary of the automaker. After the diesel scandal emerged, the customer returned the car, which used the EA 189 engine at the heart of the test cheating crisis, and asked for damages. But Volkswagen was not willing to repay the interest charged on the loan.

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