S&D MEPs today welcomed a ruling from the European Court of justice that confirms consumers can seek collective redress against manufacturers in the place where a faulty product was purchased. In the case against Volkswagen, the court found that consumer groups in Austria could take action against the German vehicle producer in Austrian courts, where vehicles were bought.
The S&D Group in the European Parliament has fought for years for rules that ensure collective redress is available across the EU. Following an agreement with the Council at the end of June, the legislation will be finalised in late 2020 to ensure consumer rights will be better protected.
Tiemo Wölken, S&D spokesperson on legal affairs, said:
“Today’s ruling by the European Court of Justice is another win for consumer rights across Europe following the Dieselgate scandal. Just a few of weeks ago, MEPs and member states came to a long-overdue agreement on EU-wide rules for collective redress meaning consumers will be able to join forces at EU level and take cross-border action. The S&D Group has consistently supported and championed EU proposals that allow EU consumers to bring lawsuits collectively against large companies. Now the groundwork is being laid for these new rules to come into force, so that soon consumers will have even more options for access to justice.”
Lara Wolters, S&D MEP responsible for collective redress, said:
“Thanks to a domestic collective redress system in Austria, a consumer group representing customers that have been cheated by a large multinational company in another EU country, were able to have their complaints heard by the European Court of Justice. The court today came back with a fair and just ruling that not only highlights the benefits of collective redress, but also underlines the pressing need for the access to justice through redress to be available in every corner of Europe. The S&D Group has fought to ensure that soon no matter where a consumer lives in the EU, no matter where they have bought a defective product, they will be able to come together and take collective action.”