(Reuters) – Volkswagen AG is facing a class-action lawsuit in Israel after a court ruled in favor of petitioners seeking compensation from the German carmaker for diesel emissions cheating.
A district court in Tel Aviv ruled that the class action will represent the car owners as well as the public exposed to higher pollution levels, according to a court spokesperson and court filings.
Volkswagen was found to have hidden excessive levels of toxic diesel emissions from its cars in 2015, a scandal that led to a management rout and a series of regulatory investigations and lawsuits, many of which take years to resolve.
The company has said that around 11 million cars worldwide were fitted with software that cheated diesel emissions tests designed to limit car fumes of nitrogen oxide.
Volkswagen said it had no immediate comment on the ruling.
The Israeli court̵7;s ruling did not include the damages sought, and Michael Bach, one of the lawyers who filed the suit, said they are still counting the number of car owners affected in Israel and calculating the environmental cost.
Volkswagen has so far spent more than 32 billion euros ($31.14 billion) in vehicle restoration, fines and legal costs. It has reached legal settlements, including in the United States and the United Kingdom.