VW Faces $3.6 Billion Shareholder Suit in Germany

by Eric Pearson

In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed a software “defeat device” on 11 million diesel-powered vehicles that was designed to fool emissions testing programs into thinking that the cars emitted lower levels of pollution than they actually did. Volkswagen stated at the time that it would recall about 600,000 VW and Audi diesel models sold in the U.S.  Since its startling admission, VW has been hit with hundreds of lawsuits brought by disgruntled owners of its diesel vehicles.  Other lawsuits have been brought by states and municipalities throughout the United States.

Now VW is facing a multi-billion dollar lawsuit in Germany from the company’s shareholders.  The lawsuit brought by more than 278 institutional investors seeks more than $3.6 billion in damages.  The investors include large companies and pension funds from across the globe, including California pension fund CALPERS.  The suit alleges that VW failed to timely disclose the problems with their diesel technology as soon as they were discovered.

Volkswagen is currently facing hundreds of lawsuits filed by owners of the VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles involved in the emissions cheating scandal. The German automakers may also be facing billions in fines as a result of a Justice Department lawsuit filed over the Dieselgate scandal. Legal experts say that executives and engineers at VW may also face criminal charges over the company’s emissions cheating, although so far no charges have been filed in the U.S.  So far, VW has set aside $7.4 billion to deal with their potential liability, but experts believe their ultimate exposure could be several times that amount.

The vehicles included in the Volkswagen diesel recall include the 2009-2015 Audi A3 TDI, the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, the 2016 Audi A7 Quattro, the 2016 Audi A8, the 2016 Audi A8L, the 2016 Audi Q5, the 2015 Porche Cayenne, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, the 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI, and the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg.

VW and Audi Diesel Owners May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

Owners of one of the Volkswagen or Audi “TDI Clean Diesel” models that were recalled by VW may be eligible to join the numerous lawsuits that have already been filed against the German automakers. Numerous commercial fraud lawsuits and class action litigation claims have already been filed against Volkswagen by VW and Audi owners who purchased or leased one of the recalled automobiles. As Volkswagen’s admissions in the Dieselgate scandal have made clear, the company knew for years that it was selling vehicles that failed to meet U.S. emissions standards and fraudulently lied to its customers by touting the eco-friendly technology of these vehicles.

The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed lawsuit on behalf of VW owners whose vehicles were affected by the company’s emissions cheating. One of our partners, Michael Heygood, was recently named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of attorneys who will oversee the early stages of the Multidistrict Litigation (or MDL) in California involving the Dieselgate scandal. Our attorneys expect to remain involved in these cases throughout the litigation process as we work to achieve the best results possible for our clients who were harmed by Volkswagen’s fraudulent conduct.

If you purchased or leased one of the VW, Audi, or Porsche diesel-powered vehicles involved in the Dieselgate recall, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about whether you qualify to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation about your case, please contact us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.