The numbers are big — 278 investors seeking $3.61 billion — but the latest lawsuit leveled at Volkswagen is merely another drop in the penalty bucket for the embattled automaker.
As has been expected for some time, a group of institutional investors from numerous countries is seeking compensation for financial damage caused by Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, Reuters is reporting.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in a Lower Saxony court — the same jurisdiction as Volkswagen’s headquarters — and alleges the automaker breached its duty under capital markets law between the time the “defeat device” was first installed in diesel models and when the scandal went public last September.
Sparked by the E.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Notice of Violation, the scandal saw Volkswagen shares plunge in value, wiping billions out of the portfolios of investors who had been unaware of what was occurring behind the scenes at Volkswagen.
Among the group’s members are a number of German insurers and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.
Their lawyer, Andreas Tilp of law firm TISAB, said the suit was filed because Volkswagen “persistently denies any settlement negotiations and also refuses to waive the statute of limitation defense until now.”
Earlier in the month, Volkswagen released a document explaining what it knew about the defeat device and when, using the admission to throw cold water on looming investor lawsuits.
Investigations into the Volkswagen are continuing as the automaker struggles to come up with a plan to recall and fix the affected diesel vehicles, sold between 2009 and 2015. In addition to the growing list of lawsuits and the expense of fixing millions of vehicles, the company is also facing fines totaling in the tens of billions of dollars from regulators.