CasesGerman Automobile Anti-trust Class Action Lawsuit

September 7, 2017
Our law firm is investigating potential claims on behalf of individuals that purchased a BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, or a Volkswagen.

Did you purchase a BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or a Volkswagen? If so, you may be entitled to compensation,
Call 1-800-934-2921 or complete the form on this page for a free consultation.

Kyros Law is Investigating Price-Fixing by German Car Makers.

Kyros Law is investigating a potential antitrust class action lawsuit against several major German car makers following reports that the European Commission is looking into an antitrust cartel involving BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, Audi, and Porsche. Consumers who purchased cars by these manufacturers may have paid higher prices as a result of this anti-competitive conduct.

The five companies allegedly jointly determined cost and price matters as well as the size of automotive components as part of the wide-ranging conspiracy. According to German newspaper Der Spiegel, Volkswagen and Daimler have admitted involvement in the cartel and requested leniency from European competition enforcement authorities in exchange for their cooperation in the antitrust investigation.

Kyros Law encourages anyone who purchased a new BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, or Bentley in the past 10 years to contact the firm. We are looking to obtain money back for consumers of these vehicles and you may be eligible to participate.

The firm has handled other matters related to car manufacturers, including VW emissions matters and helping consumers harmed by a defect in General Motors’ ignition switch that caused the ignition to shut off unexpectedly.

Please call 1-800-934-2921 or complete the form on this page to speak to our lawyers if you are interested in participating.

German Automobile Class Action Lawsuit. Contact us to protect your rights.

Did you purchase a BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or a Volkswagen? If so, you may be entitled to compensation,
Call 1-800-934-2921 or complete the form on this page for a free consultation.

News reports indicate possible illegal anti-trust price collusion perpetrated by German auto manufacturers.

When the dieselgate scandal was brought to light around two years ago, some close to the auto industry urged people to look beyond just Volkswagen, speculating that emissions cheating isn’t something just limited to one automaker. Today, new evidence has emerged that seems to show they were actually right.

Reports by German media outlets Der Spiegel and Handelsblatt point to a huge conspiracy involving collusion between Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Porsche. The whole thing allegedly went on for several years and involved over 1,000 meetings between the automakers. According to Reuters, EU antitrust regulators have confirmed that investigations into the matter are ongoing.

The Der Spiegel report shows that an actual cartel involving 200 managers and engineers of the five automakers in question was in operation for over twenty years. They formed task forces which coordinated vehicle development, costs, markets and suppliers. All of this was done in the greatest secrecy.

Promoting diesel cars was European automakers’ answer to the worldwide call for lower CO2 emissions. Diesel engines are more fuel efficient, resulting in them producing less CO2. This doesn’t come without some drawbacks. They produce nitrogen oxide (NOx), a gas which has been linked to over 72,000 premature deaths per year according to the European Environmental Agency. Fortunately, NOx can be neutralized with high-quality urea, also called AdBlue. This requires installing a tank on each vehicle to hold the liquid.

The size of the tank is what automakers seem to have colluded on. The Der Spiegel report talks about several contacts between Audi, BMW, Daimler and VW, during which a tank size of 8 liters was agreed upon for all vehicles. The problem is that a tank of this size is too small to properly neutralize NOx emissions to levels acceptable under current standards.

In order for the AdBlue to last the typical 10,000 miles between oil changes, the tank would need to have a capacity of 19 liters. The automakers figured out they had the potential to save up to 80 euro per vehicle if they installed the smaller 8 liter tanks on them instead. For a company producing millions of cars each year, the savings quickly add up.

Another thing that car makers have colluded on is mostly turning off exhaust treatment once cars leave the lab, in the process duping both regulators and consumers about the true quantity of emissions produced by their vehicles.

The whole collusion scandal came to light after German authorities investigating a steel cartel raided six companies. Documents seized in the process proved the existing of a conspiracy involving car manufacturers. Soon after, Volkswagen and Daimler both made “voluntary disclosures” to German authorities, apparently believing they would be investigated next. Media reports speculate that those disclosures were made with the intention of lowering the penalties the automakers would receive. Under EU antitrust laws, violators face fines reaching a maximum of 10 percent of their worldwide sales.

Antitrust Officials Investigate the German Car Industry – BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Porsche affected.

Officials are taking a close look at Germany’s car industry. They say that German car manufacturers may have been colluding to reduce competition since as far back as the 1990s. They’re investigating claims that the car companies have been working together to control new car production including engine design. The investigation includes allegations that the companies are working together to control suppliers and even emissions protocol.

The European Commission and the Bundeskartellamt are handling the investigation. The Bundeskartellamt is the official name of the German cartel office. The European Commission is the antitrust agency responsible for overseeing industry in the European Union. They say they’re not going to speculate on the investigation because it’s still in its early stages. Ultimately, it’s up to investigators to determine the appropriate course of action.

The car industry is big in Germany. It makes up about 20 percent of Germany’s total industry. Combined, more than 800,000 people in Germany work for the automotive industry. That means millions of dollars in profit each year for German car companies. The industry is also the lifeblood for the people they employ.

German news outlet Der Spiegel broke news of the investigation. They say that Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are all involved in the inquiry. They say that Volkswagen subsidiaries Audi and Porsche are targeted subjects of the investigation. Investigators say that the car companies may have met in order to brainstorm ways to reduce competition. They said that Volkswagen might have even admitted that they attempted to engage in collusion.

In response to the allegations, BMW is going on the defensive. They say that their emissions technology is unlike anything else on the market. They say that they’re competitive with the goal of offering the best exhaust system possible. BMW declined comment on other aspects of the allegations.

Stocks slumped for all of the companies involved when news broke about the investigation. They stabilized at approximately three percent lower than before the news. Industry leaders are working hard to do damage control as they worry about their collective reputation.

This isn’t the first scandal to hit the German car companies. In 2015, Volkswagen said that they cheated on tests for diesel emissions. They said the cheating affected millions of cars and sent pollutants into the air. That public relations crisis set Volkswagen back billions of dollars. They paid fines and settlements to angry governments and consumers.

Other public relations nightmares have thrown the German car industry into crisis. For now, officials are staying mum about where their investigation might lead. There are years of documents and records to pour over before officials determine a fine or another course of action. The European Commission can impose fines. They can also force industry changes.

Officials have to weigh any penalties against the benefit that the German car industry provides to the European economy. They must also consider the benefits of free trade to other European car manufacturers. Any announcement on penalties may be far in the future as the investigation continues. For now, German car manufacturers find themselves in the hot seat as they defend themselves from these latest allegations.

German Automobile Class Action Lawsuit. Contact us to protect your rights.

Did you purchase a BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or a Volkswagen? If so, you may be entitled to compensation,
Call 1-800-934-2921 or complete the form on this page for a free consultation.