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Investors sue Daimler for €896M over 'dieselgate'

Daimler AG's institutional investors have filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming €896 million in damages for allegedly concealing the use of illegal defeat devices in its diesel vehicles, said German law firm TILP Litigation Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH on Jan. 7.

The lawsuit related to the diesel scandal was filed Dec. 30, 2019, in a regional court in Stuttgart, Germany. The investors, represented by TILP, include banks, capital management companies, insurance companies, reinsurers, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.

Daimler allegedly failed to inform investors about the risks and costs of using such devices and misrepresented the actual circumstances to the capital markets.

According to the law firm, Daimler's stock fell during the "disinformation phase" from July 10, 2012, until June 20, 2018, from over €90 to below €60. Investors believe that the automaker is liable to them for damages suffered because of concealing the information and violating duties under capital markets law.

"Any issuer of securities listed on a stock exchange must promptly and fully inform the capital markets of any inside information. We are convinced that Daimler failed to do so, both in its financial reporting and in ad-hoc notices," said attorney Andreas Tilp.

The Mercedes-Benz owner said it has no knowledge of the action mentioned by TILP.

"We believe the lawsuits we know of to be without merit and will defend ourselves against the accusations by all legal means. This includes potential exemplary proceedings," Daimler said in a statement to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In September 2019, Daimler was fined €870 million for violating diesel emission regulations.