Volkswagen is in the midst of a trial as part of a lawsuit from investors seeking $10.7 billion in compensation over the diesel pollution scandal.
The lawsuit bundles together 1670 claims mainly from VW institutional shareholders who claim that the German automaker failed to inform investors about the scope of the scandal before regulators did on September 18, 2015. The investors assert that they may have avoided losses if VW had forewarned them.
In the days after September 18, VW shares fell by as much as 37 per cent. Despite previously admitting to systematic emissions cheating, Volkswagen has denied any wrongdoing in the matters of regulatory disclosure, Reuters reports.
VW’s bills could get even higher…
In a filing with the Braunschweig higher regional court in Germany, Volkswagen says it did not see the need to inform investors because the company was in talks with U.S. authorities to reach a settlement. The company claims that other carmakers had reached emissions cheating settlements with authorities without an EPA notice of violation being issued.
Additonally, VW says that as previous fines from U.S. authorities for similar acts of emissions cheating were below $200 million, it saw no need to issue an ad-hoc disclosure notice under Germany law.
“Neither the management board nor individual board members caused or were involved with the compliance violation in the United States,” the marque’s court filing adds.
Plaintiffs assert that managers below management board level were aware of deliberate and systematic emissions cheating and were therefore aware of severe criminal activity and should have known that investors had the right to be informed.