Noerr wins case for Peugeot SA and PSA Automobiles SA before the Regional Court of Cologne


Dominik Wendel, Fabian Hübener and Benedikt Lutz successfully represented the car manufacturers Peugeot SA and PSA Automobiles SA before the Regional Court of Cologne against an action brought by the European Independent Automotive Data Publishers Association (ADPA) and the Gesamtverband Autoteile-Handel e.V.

With today's decision, the Regional Court of Cologne dismissed the action in its entirety after a legal dispute lasting more than three years (Case No. 81 O 93/19). Previously, Noerr had already prevailed in this matter in preliminary ruling proceedings before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) (Case No. C-390/21).

Now, the Regional Court of Cologne has also confirmed that vehicle manufacturers may charge fees for providing access to maintenance and repair information (RMI) to independent operators that exceed a low uniform access fee or a fee that merely covers the vehicle manufactures’ costs.

There were doubts about the amount of fees chargeable under the Type Approval Regulation (EU) 2018/858 and in this respect, the Regional Court of Cologne had initially referred the matter to the ECJ.

On 27 October 2022, the ECJ had ruled that vehicle manufacturers are allowed to earn money with the RMI they produce.

Before the Regional Court of Cologne, the associations had attempted to amend their complaint and interpretatively expand the objective of the complaint in order to circumvent the ECJ's ruling. However, the Brussels-based Noerr team managed to prevent this. 

The case concerned fundamental issues for the automotive industry. RMI are crucial for the repair and maintenance of modern, complex motor vehicles. The opposing parties wanted to ensure that a special group of independent commercial agents, so-called publishers, who in turn market the RMI, which are produced by the vehicle manufacturers at high cost, get access to RMI as cheaply as possible - to the detriment of all vehicle manufacturers.

The successful defense therefore prevented the threat of a complete devaluation of the RMI created by the vehicle manufacturers.