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MILAN (Reuters) - Volkswagen said on Thursday it would appeal against a decision by an Italian court ordering the German group to refund consumers participating in a class action lawsuit over the carmaker's rigging of diesel emissions tests.
Italian consumer group Altroconsumo said a court ordered Volkswagen to pay 3,300 euros ($3,900), plus interest, to each of the more than 63,000 consumers who joined the class action, for a total amount of over 200 million euros ($236 million).
Altroconsumo said Volkswagen was found liable for an unfair commercial practice after installing banned software on EA189 engines in order to lower NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions during tests.
A spokesperson for Volkswagen said the German automaker considered Altroconsumo's class action inadmissible and that its allegations were without merit.
"Volkswagen will seek to have the judgement overturned by the second instance court in Venice", the spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement.
"Class members have not suffered any economic loss because of the NOx issue since all vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy, and no loss in their trade value resulted in the Italian market because of the NOx issue", the person added.
Altroconsumo started legal action against Volkswagen in 2017, together with its sister organisations in Belgium (Test Aankoop/Test Achats), Spain (OCU) and Portugal (Deco), as part of a Euroconsumers coordinated class action.
(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin in Milan and Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt; Editing by Mark Potter)