Cheating has consequences.
Volkswagen was not the only German automaker suspected and subsequently investigated for diesel emissions cheating. VW was just the first one to get caught. Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has also been accused of using similar defeat devices. German prosecutors investigating the matter claim 690,000 vehicles were affected. This resulted in an 870 billion euro fine (about $973 billion) last September. Unfortunately for Daimler, its diesel-related legal issues are not over.
Bloomberg reports over 200 investors are seeking 900 million euros ($1 billion) in damages over claims the automaker failed to properly disclose its vehicles had emissions cheating devices. The group of investors is quite large, consisting of banks, investment houses, and insurance and pensions funds from several countries. A lawyer representing them refused to disclose any of the firms' names.
The suits were filed in a court in Stuttgart, Germany on the clients' behalf. For its part, Daimler vows to fight the cases which it claims, not surprisingly, are without merit. Some of the Daimler vehicles recalled include the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Mercedes-Benz E-Class models. With this latest legal action, Daimler finds itself in a very similar position to that of the Volkswagen Group. It too has been fighting a 9 billion euro lawsuit brought on by investors because the company failed to notify the markets in a timely manner to limit financial losses when the diesel scandal was first exposed.
Chances are, Daimler will reach a settlement here because, well, it doesn't have much of a choice. A precedent for admitting at least some level of guilt has already been set with September's settlement. Also like Volkswagen, Mercedes is moving fast with electrification. The Mercedes EQC all-electric SUV went on sale last year and just this past week the company went even further with its futuristic Vision AVTR Concept, which not only sports an all-electric powertrain but also lacks a steering wheel, thus hinting at (eventual) full self-driving capabilities.