The Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Munich makes a consumer-friendly statement in the RV Fiat diesel scandal

The events in the diesel exhaust scandal surrounding mobile homes based on the Italian car manufacturer FCA Italy S.p.A. (referred to as "Fiat") continue to come to a head. The beginning of the legal dispute between Fiat and the affected consumers is now some time ago.

However, it has now reached the higher regional courts. The Munich Higher Regional Court (OLG) has now ruled on the matter for the first time, and it appears that an important victory for consumers is in the offing before the OLG, which could prove to be groundbreaking for the further development of the diesel emissions scandal with regard to Fiat.

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Statements of the OLG Munich on the Fiat diesel scandal in brief

The Munich Higher Regional Court (Case No. 36 U 3000/22) made the following statements in two proceedings in the Fiat diesel scandal:

  • There is intentional unconscionable harm by Fiat in the diesel scandal
  • There is a risk of immobilization of the mobile homes affected by the manipulation.
  • Fiat has not sufficiently disputed the factual claims of the parties to the action in the course of the proceedings, and the Court therefore considers them to have been admitted.
  • OLG refers to consumer-friendly ruling of the ECJ on thermal windows and thus draws a parallel to the timer used by Fiat.

Which engines are involved in the process?

Since not every engine installed by Fiat is affected by the manipulation in the diesel scandal, it is important to find out whether your own engine also falls under those covered by the Fiat emissions scandal. A list of the engines affected by the diesel scandal and therefore at risk can be found here. here.

The proceedings before the Munich Higher Regional Court relate specifically to the following engines installed in a Fiat Ducato-based motor home:

  • Multijet 130, 2.3 liter, Euronorm 6 from 2017
  • Multijet 130, 2.3 liters, Euronorm 6b, engine code: F1AGL411D

What happened?

The proceedings against Fiat in the Fiat diesel scandal have now reached the higher regional courts, and the Munich Higher Regional Court has also been presented with proceedings. In particular, the OLG has now ruled on two cases in a way that is very pleasing for consumers.

The plaintiffs in the proceedings are demanding that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA, now Stellantis) take back the vehicle and repay the purchase price less compensation for use(calculate amount of damages).

In the course of the proceedings, the Munich Higher Regional Court has now determined the following by means of an order:

Fiat did not sufficiently dispute the installation of a timer, consequently the court considers this to be admitted. In the opinion of the court, the timer function used by Fiat constitutes an impermissible defeat device pursuant to Article 5 (1) of Regulation (EC) No. 715/2007. In conjunction with the fact that the timer deactivates the engine's exhaust gas purification system after 22 minutes and that the test bench also lasts 22 minutes, the installation can be considered immoral.

With regard to Fiat's argument that the timer was installed for the purpose of engine protection and thus falls under an exception to the EU Regulation, the Munich Higher Regional Court refers to the consumer-friendly case law of the ECJ. Accordingly, exceptions are to be interpreted narrowly and, as in the case of the thermal window, which is the subject of the relevant ECJ ruling, the technical necessity of the timer is not given.

Also very relevant is the court's opinion regarding a possible decommissioning of the affected motor homes, which has been demanded for some time by many bodies for the purpose of environmental protection. So also very loudly of the German environmental assistance (DUH). You can find more about this here.

Contrary to Fiat's argumentation in the context of the diesel emissions scandal, the court is of the opinion that there is indeed a latent risk of a recall or revocation of the type approval . For consumers, this would be tantamount to immobilizing the vehicle. In particular, the court emphasizes that the fact that the Italian type approval authority has so far remained inactive does not allow the opposite to be concluded.

Finally, with regard to the assessment of the compensation for use, the OLG stated that it assumed a mileage of the mobile homes of 300,000 kilometers.


The statements of the OLG Munich were not made in the context of a judgment, but merely in the form of a reference in the ongoing proceedings. However, it can generally be assumed that the OLG Munich will stick to its assessment. 

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