Czech owners of Skoda, Volkswagen cars qualify for $23 million…


FILE PHOTO: A Volkswagen logo in Wolfsburg, Germany March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

PRAGUE (Reuters) – A Prague district court has ruled that Czech owners of Skoda and Volkswagen cars qualify for 533 million crowns ($23.30 million) in compensation linked to VW’s diesel emissions scandal, a news website reported on Wednesday.

The suit was filed by 2,435 people, the website reported. The decision is open to appeal.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it had cheated U.S. diesel emissions tests.

Officials at Skoda Auto, the Czech brand of VW, were not immediately available to comment. VW had no immediate comment. The Prague district court spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

“It is a breakthrough in the European branch of the affair,” Seznam quoted the customers’ lawyer Frantisek Honsa as saying. “We managed to push through the same compensation as in the United States.”

The lawyer representing the customers was not immediately available for comment.

Volkswagen has paid out more than 27 billion euros ($31 billion) in penalties for using illegal software to disguise excessive levels of pollution from its diesel cars, triggering a global regulatory clampdown.

The news website Seznam said that the court ruled to uphold the request for compensation because Skoda parent Volkswagen missed a deadline to provide its position to the court.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Jan Harvey and Jane Merriman

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