Request for a preliminary ruling from the Landgericht Ravensburg (Germany) lodged on 17 February 2021 – QB v Daimler AG

(Case C-100/21)

Language of the case: German

Referring court

Landgericht Ravensburg

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: QB

Defendant: Daimler AG

Questions referred

Are Articles 18(1), 26(1) and 46 of Directive 2007/46/EC, 1 read in conjunction with Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007, 2 also intended to protect the interests of individual purchasers of motor vehicles?

If so:

Does this also include the interest of an individual purchaser of a vehicle in not purchasing a vehicle which does not comply with the requirements of EU law, and in particular in not purchasing a vehicle equipped with a prohibited defeat device within the meaning of Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007?

If Question 1 is answered in the negative:

Is it incompatible with EU law if a purchaser who has unintentionally purchased a vehicle placed on the market by the manufacturer with a prohibited defeat device within the meaning of Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 is able to assert civil claims for damages against the vehicle manufacturer on the basis of tortious liability – including, in particular, a claim for reimbursement of the purchase price paid for the vehicle against return and transfer of ownership of the vehicle – only in exceptional cases where the vehicle manufacturer has acted with intent and in a manner contrary to accepted principles of morality?

If so:

Does EU law require that the purchaser of a vehicle has a civil claim for damages against the vehicle manufacturer on the basis of tortious liability in the event of any culpable (negligent or intentional) act on the part of the vehicle manufacturer in relation to the placing on the market of a vehicle equipped with a prohibited defeat device within the meaning of Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007?

Irrespective of the answers to Questions 1 to 4:

Is it incompatible with EU law if, under national law, the purchaser of a vehicle must accept offsetting the benefit of the actual use made of the motor vehicle where he or she seeks, by way of compensation based on tortious liability, reimbursement from the manufacturer of the purchase price of a vehicle placed on the market by the manufacturer with a prohibited defeat device within the meaning of Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 against return and transfer of ownership of the vehicle?

If not:

Is it incompatible with EU law for that benefit of use to be calculated on the basis of the full purchase price without any deduction being made for the reduction in value of the vehicle resulting from its being equipped with a prohibited defeat device and/or in view of the purchaser’s inadvertent use of a vehicle which does not comply with EU law?

Irrespective of the answers to Questions 1 to 6:

Inasmuch as it also refers to orders for reference in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 267 TFEU, is Paragraph 348(3) of the Zivilprozessordnung (‘the ZPO’, German Code of Civil Procedure) incompatible with the right conferred on the national courts to request a preliminary ruling pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 267 TFEU and must it therefore be disapplied to orders for reference?

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1 Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 September 2007 establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles (Framework Directive) (OJ 2007 L 263, p. 1).

2 Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 on type approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information (OJ 2007 L 171, p. 1).