Daimler is the latest European carmaker to be sued by investors over its alleged use of illegal software to evade diesel emission tests.
Some 200 banks, pension funds, insurance companies and investment houses from Asia to North America filed the $1 billion lawsuit in Stuttgart. They claim their investments lost value because they weren’t promptly told by the company about the cheating.
The lawsuit was not surprising. Daimler agreed in September to pay a $967 million fine for failing its supervisory duties by allowing 684,000 tainted diesels to be sold in Europe. The company also has been ordered over the past two years to fix illegal software in about 3.8 million of its diesels in the region.
The latest claim against Daimler joins a similar investor complaint that seeks $9.9 billion from Volkswagen Group.
Blame It on VW
VW started it all in 2015 after admitting it used illegal software in 10 million of its diesels to skirt emission laws. Since then, there’s been a veritable flood of lawsuits against executives and/or car companies and suppliers about damages attributed to sneaky software used to tiptoe around emission rules.
Last May, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles paid a bunch of its shareholders $110 million in compensation for misleading them about recall costs as well as diesel emission tests covering 104,000 dieselized SUVs and pickup trucks.
In late 2018, a German court ordered Porsche SE, the holding company that controls 52% of VW’s voting shares, to pay its stockholders $52 million for its delayed disclosure of VW’s diesel scandal.
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