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Daimler emissions scandal
Daimler investors claim for damages.
KEY FACTS AT A GLANCE:
- When can claims for compensation be justified? Purchase between 10.07.2012 and 20.06.2018.
- Which shares are affected? Daimler stocks and bonds, as well as derivatives.
- Do the claims for compensation assume that the shares were still held in the portfolio on 20.06.2018? No.
On September 18, 2015 the Volkswagen emissions scandal was revealed (also know as "Dieselgate"). Although Daimler was not involved in the revelation at the time, its stock price began to drop and fall up to 16%, totaling 12.35 billion EUR in losses.
As a response, Daimler's CEO, Dieter Zetsche called a press conference on September 26 on which he categorically denied any emission manipulation at Daimler. This denial was included in Daimler's 2015 Annual Report. Daimler's price began a slow process of recovery. On May 23, 2017 raids in search of Dieselgate documents were initiated. Less than one month later, on July 21, 2017, Der Spiegel. A German news magazine revealed that the German car manufacturers Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), Audi AG and Dr. Ing. H.c. F. Porsche AG (together the "cartel") allegedly had been acting in concert since 1996 to suppress competition, gain and keep market share and increase their own profits.
As a result of the revelations, Daimler's stock price fell again considerably. The scandals also shed new light on Dieselgate. According to German weekly Der Spiegel, the cartel had agreed since 2006 on the reduction of the AdBlue (Urea) tanks used to control NOx emissions, and on the software designed to cheat emission tests (defeat devices), despite Mr. Zetsche's previous declarations. Additionally, German newsprint Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed that Daimler had already informed the German authorities of the existence of the cartel as early as by 2014, obtaining leniency in return. The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) initiated an investigation against Daimler on August 7, 2017 regarding the violation of their ad-hoc disclosure duties regarding its cartel participation, its leniency application and its participation in Dieselgate. Finally, on May 24 and June 11, 2018, the German Government ordered the recall of more than 238,000 Daimler vehicles due to "inadmissible defeat devices" and Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer further announced that in Europe a total of 774,000 vehicles have been found to contain the software, calling again into question the veracity of Daimler's previous statements and affecting the price of the stock.
The pursuit of damage claims can be made under German law and in German courts, as the place of Daimler's incorporation. If the facts turn out to be true, the claims could be based on Daimler's violation of its disclosure obligations contained in § 97 (old 37b) and § 98 (old 37c) of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG) as well as for its willful misconduct that harmed Daimler investors, sanctioned by §823(2) of the German Civil Code (BGB) in connection with several accounting statutes. Another statute of importance is the German general tort provision that sanctions the intentional damage caused to others by acting against good morals (§826 BGB). The currently applicable period in which damage claims have accrued and could be pursued is from July 10, 2012 to June 20, 2018.
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