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The Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal could have repercussions beyond the United States. A Spanish court ordered two Volkswagen Group subsidiaries in Spain on Wednesday to pay €5,000 (RM23,100) to an owner of an Audi Q5, which was fitted with a defeat device used to pass emissions tests.

Automotive News reported that the buyer was seeking compensation after he found out in the wake of “dieselgate” that his car, purchased in 2013, contained software which made the vehicle appear cleaner in exhaust emissions testing than it really was, according to the court ruling.

As a result, the Spanish court in the city of Valladolid imposed the fine on Valladolid Wagen and Volkswagen España, equivalent to 10% of the car’s value. The decision marks the first time a Spanish judge has ruled in favour of a buyer of a Volkswagen Group car with the defeat device.

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The report stated that the ruling could open the door to a wave of new consumer lawsuits, with Spanish consumer organisation OCU calling for other owners of affected cars to join more than 5,500 others in filing a class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen. The Spanish high court also said last October that it had begun investigating Volkswagen vehicles in the country.

The “dieselgate” fiasco was brought to the attention of the world after Volkswagen admitted in September last year to secretly installing defeat devices in 11 million diesel-powered vehicles worldwide in order to cheat emissions testing, particularly in the US. On Tuesday, a US judge approved a US$14.7 billion (RM61.9 billion) settlement between Volkswagen and regulators there.

A source at Volkswagen Audi España told the news agency that the carmaker would appeal the latest ruling.

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