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Investigations

Was “Dieselgate” Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

If you purchased or leased a Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, or BMW within the past 26 years, you may be entitled to recover money as a result of a massive illegal conspiracy to inflate the price of German luxury cars.

On July 22, 2017, the European Commission announced an investigation of an antitrust cartel among the manufacturers of German luxury cars dating back to 1990. According to an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel reporting on the investigation, “Audi, BMW, Daimler [the manufacturer of Mercedes] and Porsche colluded for years in more than 1,000 meetings,” on everything from the soft-top of a convertible to the assessment of suppliers. According to the article, Volkswagen made “some kind of voluntary disclosure” to Germany’s Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission on July 4, 2017, and Daimler also reported itself to the authorities in the hopes of getting leniency.

But the article states that VW and Daimler did not come clean due to a sudden pang of conscience. Instead, documents impounded when authorities traced a steel cartel and raided six companies led investigators to the car conspiracy. Der Spiegel claims that VW and Daimler somehow received advance word of the investigation and rushed to get on the good graces of investigators. An article that appeared on Forbes.com contends that the VW “dieselgate” scandal that unfolded two years ago was the product of this broader conspiracy. Germany’s BILD Zeitung reported that prosecutors in Germany and the U.S. are investigating the matter.

A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of persons who purchased or leased Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, and BMW cars between 1990 and the present. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages as a result of the illegal price-fixing conspiracy described above. If you would like more information on the alleged conspiracy and how you might recover money from the class action, please submit your contact information below or contact Paul Scarlato or Mark Goldman by email at scarlato@lawgsp.com or goldman@lawgsp.com.

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In our legal system, every person is innocent until and unless found guilty by a court of law or a tribunal. Whenever we reference “allegations” or charges that are “alleged,” such allegations or charges have not been proven, and are merely accusations, not findings of fault, as of the date of the blog. We do not have, nor do we undertake, a duty to continue to monitor or follow cases about which we report, and/or to publish subsequent updates regarding various developments that may occur in such cases. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research regarding any such cases and any developments that may or may not have occurred in such cases. Also, the brokercheck report linked to some of our blogs is the up-to-date version as of the date of posting. Visitors may check the most recent version of each brokercheck report at www.finra.org.

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