Global Institutional Investor Group Files Large-Scale German Securities Suit against Volkswagen AG over Diesel Emissions Scandal

New lawsuit filed in Germany on behalf of 278 institutional investors from Europe, U.S., Canada, Australia and Asia; suit supported by leading U.S. investor law firms Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check and Grant & Eisenhofer, plus international investor protection law firm DRRT; more than 3.2 billion euros in investor claims

KIRCHENTELLINSFURT, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The first large-scale securities lawsuit brought by institutional investors against Volkswagen AG has been filed in Germany, with several leading investor law firms joining forces with German counsel to bring the action.

The suit, stemming from Volkswagen’s admitted use of emissions-cheating software in diesel-powered vehicles, was filed on behalf of 281 institutional investors across the globe including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

The lawsuit, which seeks to recover losses of over 3.2 billion euros (over $3.5 billion U.S.), was brought by German law firm TISAB, with the support of a legal and funding consortium consisting of leading U.S. securities class action law firms Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP (“Kessler Topaz”) and Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. as well as international investor protection firm DRRT and Ireland-based litigation funding company Claims Funding Europe Ltd.

The investor suit, filed at the Regional Court in Braunschweig (Brunswick) this Monday, March 14, 2016 to preserve certain claims from expiration under German law, alleges that Volkswagen breached its duties to investors by failing to timely publish information in connection with the company’s widely reported emissions scandal affecting at least 600,000 vehicles sold in the United States and thousands more internationally.

The affected VW diesel vehicles were sold with so-called “defeat-device” software designed to fool motor vehicle emissions tests into calibrating approved levels of greenhouse gas exhaust while the cars were operating. In the United States, the country’s Department of Justice has filed its own lawsuit that could lead to billions of dollars in penalties against VW for the deception.

The consortium of law firms and funders will continue to coordinate and support further claims for institutional entities against Volkswagen AG in Germany and under German law, and expect to file claims on behalf of additional institutions before mid-September 2016, when the statute of limitations on certain additional claims threatens to lapse.

Darren J. Check