The District Court in Braunschweig, Germany, ruled [press release, in German] Monday that a collective complaint against Volkswagen AG (VW) may move forward. Like US-style class-action lawsuits, the collective complaint was launched [WSJ report] on behalf of multiple investors who lost money following the diesel emissions cheating scandal. Unlike US-style class-action lawsuits, a German court must choose one case to decide and then apply to the ruling to other cases. The district court has received 170 investor lawsuits alleging that VW failed to inform investors [AP report] of the impending scandal. The lawsuits add up to approximately €4 billion (USD $4.4 billion), and the district court will choose a pilot case by the end of the year.
Last month, a judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California gave preliminary approval [JURIST report] to a $15 billion settlement between VW and the US Environmental Protection Agency, California officials and consumers. In June VW agreed [JURIST report] to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests and deceiving customers in a settlement with US regulators. In March the Federal Trade Commission filed suit [JURIST report] against VW for false advertising.