Almost 300 institutional investors in Volkswagen have filed a multi-billion euro suit against the carmaker for what they see as breaches of its capital markets duty in the emissions scandal, the law firm representing them said. As Hayley Platt reports, the lawsuit is for damages of 3.256 billion euro ($3.61 billion).
It's a bad news story that just keeps getting worse. 300 of Volkswagen's institutional investors have filed a multi-billion euro lawsuit against the carmaker. They're angry about being kept in the dark over the emissions scandal, alleging VW neglected its duty to capital markets between 2008 and 2015. The case is in its early stages - VW says it hasn't even received the lawsuit. But economists say there is an onus on all businesses to be as transparent as possible. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "Obviously investors need to invest on as full knowledge that they possibly can of what's going on in a company as they can. A firm is expected as a duty to inform them of plans, issues, concerns. But of course if you're raising money for example and you haven't given an accurate view of maybe what is happening in the future or what you've been doing then obviously you expose yourself to all sorts of potential lawsuits because people suffer huge losses." German insurers and the US pension fund Calpers are just some of the investors wanting answers. Together they're seeking damages of 3.2 billion euros. VW is now facing more than 500 lawsuits from US owners alone. And in January the US Justice Department sued VW for up to $46 billion for violating environmental laws. It also has a criminal investigation underway. VW's been delaying its fourth quarter results. Perhaps the 353 million euro writedown on its Financial Services business offering a glimpse of what's to come.