Audi, BMW, Daimler/Mercedes-Benz, Porsche & Volkswagen – Class Action Lawsuit Filed

On August 2, 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, against leading German automobile manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler/Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen for, according to the complaint:

. . . abusing their collective market power to illegally stifle competition, retard innovation and garner profits no matter the adverse impact to consumers or the environment. As far back as the 1990s, Defendants are reported to have regularly met to coordinate on costs, prices, suppliers, technical development and other competitive aspects regarding everything from brake controls and chassis to electronics and car assembly. Specifically, Defendants reportedly coordinated on the cleaning tanks (AdBlue tanks) used in diesel emissions systems – tanks that were known to be too small and are now the cause of illegal pollution in cities throughout the world, including in California and the United States.

The class action complaint further alleges that

The Defendants’ conspiracy, in which they and named and unnamed co-conspirators agreed to share commercially-sensitive information and reached unlawful agreements regarding such competitive aspects of their respective automobile manufacturing businesses, was carried out with the aim of excluding, restraining, and suppressing competition, and has harmed consumers, including Plaintiffs and the Classes, by, inter alia, causing them to pay unlawfully inflated prices and increased maintenance costs for diesel passenger vehicles manufactured and sold by Defendants . . ..

According to the complaint, German diesel passenger vehicles include diesel engine vehicles made by any of the Defendants and not purchased as a commercial vehicle, including, but not limited to, sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, and wagons, in addition to SUVs/crossovers, vans, and trucks.

The complaint further alleges that

[s]ignificantly, the European Commission (“EC”) Competition authorities in Brussels and Germany’s Federal Cartel Office have confirmed that they are investigating Defendants’ participation in anticompetitive activities. In fact, two of the three ultimate parent companies in the conspiracy – Volkswagen AG (which controls Audi AG and Porsche AG) and Daimler AG – have already (i) admitted to the EC Competition authorities and Germany’s Federal Cartel Office that they coordinated with co-defendants and/or other unnamed co-conspirators on competitive aspects of their businesses, and (ii) been cooperating with the EC Competition authorities in the hopes of obtaining amnesty or leniency for their anticompetitive misconduct.

Did You Purchase or Lease A BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche or Mercedes-Benz?

If so, your rights under federal law may have been violated.  If you would like to speak privately with an attorney to contribute to or learn more about the investigation, please complete the form to the right or contact John Kehoe, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 801, [email protected]; or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C.

The Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. is a multidisciplinary, plaintiff–side law firm dedicated to protecting investors and consumers from corporate fraud, negligence, and other wrongdoing. Driven by a strong and principled sense of social responsibility and obtaining justice for the aggrieved, Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. represents plaintiffs seeking to recover investment losses resulting from securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, corporate wrongdoing or malfeasance, those harmed by anticompetitive practices, and consumers victimized by fraud, negligence, false claims, deception, data breaches or whose rights to minimum wage and overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws have been violated.